Don’t be afraid of COVID-19 test, Mustapha tells Nigerians.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has urged Nigerians to stop being afraid of COVID-19 test.

Mustapha made the plea on Monday during the PTF-COVID-19 daily briefing in Abuja, assuring that testing positive to the viral infection is not a death sentence.

The SGF said, “I implore us not to be afraid of undertaking the COVID-19 test. Testing positive for COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but failure to test, especially when symptoms are evident could result in death as it may be too late once the symptoms become full-blown. 

“The loss of any Nigerian is not only painful but most avoidable provided we seek help early. 

“The PTF is also not unmindful of the possibility of imports, especially through our land borders. 

“For this reason, our men and women of the Nigerian Immigration Service remain vigilant and this has resulted in the apprehension of two foreigners who tried to enter the country illegally over the weekend. This commendable effort is appreciated.”

Mustapha said the PTF had directed that more awareness be created on the location of test centres and how to get tested especially when one fits the case definition. 

“The call centres are also being re-energised for responsiveness. Our messaging on risk communication and compliance by the public will also receive very strong attention. 

“We must develop a national wave of awareness creation to drive home our objectives”, he said.

The PTF chairman noted that the declaration of Nigeria as a polio-free nation last week was a welcomed development while congratulating all those who participated in what he described as a long-drawn battle to rid Nigeria of the disease.

He added, “This declaration is a signal that overcoming COVID-19 and indeed any other infectious disease is possible and shall be achieved. 

“We use this opportunity to renew our call to the medical practitioners and hospitals not to neglect other diseases and ailments because of COVID-19.

“Let me remind everyone that wearing your mask properly, observing social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings are critical to saving lives, including yours. Observe them religiously.”

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