The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that about 80 percent of infected persons were not in isolation centres.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, revealed this to newsmen in Abuja.
The SGF who noted that 80 per cent of infected persons are not in isolation centres because of fear of stigmatisation further revealed that the government is taking care of only 20 per cent of patient who show up at isolation centres after developing critical symptoms.
The SGF said: “You may care to know that almost 80 per cent of people that are infected are in no form of isolation centre or hospital. We are just caring for about 20 per cent that have decided to show up or provide themselves when they are critically ill for the management and care.”
“Most people, one of the reasons they decide to avoid the isolation centres or don’t present themselves until it is late and complications begin to develop is because of this simple reason of being rejected and of being treated differently.”
“My appeal to all of us as Nigerians is that there is no point stigmatising anybody because he is infected with coronavirus. It is a disease that has defiled boundaries, the high and mighty are afflicted, the low and downtrodden are afflicted, the rich are afflicted, and the poor are afflicted. It has no respect for anybody either gender, creed or nationality.”
The PTF Chairman also stated that the risk of the infection is now higher due to increased death figures recorded as a result of the pandemic.
Mustapha said: “When we started it was one (case) on the 27 of February. Today, we have a record number of over 17, 000 and it is still counting and the truth of this matter is that the adverse effects of these numbers will not be seen now until three weeks ahead. That is when you will begin to see the projections of the mortality”
“Because it takes that length of time to go through the processes of incubation and the adverse effect of it. We have got hard days ahead. We have got tough days ahead. We need everybody to understand that we are not out of the woods yet.”
He urged Nigerians to cooperate with the government to curtail the spread of the virus by observing the social distancing and regularly using face masks when in public.
“Sometimes, when I am coming to the office in the morning I see people casually put their masks under their chin, that’s when they care to carry it and people go about their businesses as if there is nothing to dread.”
“There are more difficult days ahead, there are harder times ahead as our figures begin to rise.”
“We have not finished with the first wave. We have not even peaked. So don’t talk about the second wave. Let us deal with the first wave because there is so much work to do,” he added.
The government urged Nigerians to prepare for difficult days ahead and warned that the effect of increased transmission of the virus would be seen in the next three weeks.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had on Thursday night announced that Nigeria recorded 745 new cases to make a total of 18,480 recorded cases , 6,307 persons discharged, and 475 deaths.
Thursday’s record of 745 new cases is currently the highest number of COVID-19 infections recorded in a single-day.