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Hoax calls distracting, hampering NCDC COVID-19 emergency duties, Dr Ihekweazu

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has decried the attitude of Nigerians who distract the PTF duties with hoax calls to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) call lines.

This was disclosed by the Director-General (DG) of the Centre, Dr Chika Ihekweazu during Monday’s briefing by the PTF.

Dr Ihekweazu shocked the audience when he disclosed that last week aolne, 26% of the calls the NCDC received were hoax calls and lamented that such calls were distracting the workers.

Ihekweazu was reacting to a question on why it took very long time before results of COVID-19 tests are made available to those tested.

In his address earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, Mr Boss Mustapha said the Task Force plans to establish one sample collection center in each of the 774 local government areas (LGA) of the country and at the same time working out a strategy for high burden LGAs:

He also emphsised the importance of enhanced Risk Communication strategy which he said had become “inevitable when we realise that within the last twenty-four hours, the world witnessed the largest single day cases of 230,370 while in Nigeria the last week recorded the highest weekly fatality of 70 deaths.

“The rising fatalities in Nigeria is not unconnected with denial and delay in seeking help”, he added.

On resumption of schools, Mustapha said: “the PTF has assessed the circumstances and has put in place necessary guidelines to be followed while the managers of the sector have the responsibility for drawing up the protocols and determining the dates.”

He equally reacted to claims of local cures when he said, “the PTF recognizes the efforts of our innovators, researchers and research institutions in working to get a solution to the COVID-19, especially its cure.

“However, we refrain from misleading the public into believing that a cure has been found or certified when indeed the validation processes were still on-going”, Mustapha stated.

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