President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 until March 2021.
The president announced this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received the “End-of-Year Report” of the task force.
He said that mandate of the PTF was extended “bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases and the bid for vaccines.”
Buhari said: “Recent reports reaching me indicate that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, which is similar to the second wave of infections occurring in other countries across the world.
“New epicentres have been identified and the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months.
“I have critically evaluated the situation and I remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread and the attendant fatalities.
“Closely associated with the foregoing is the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID vaccine in a safe, effective and timely manner.
“This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into year 2021, and it must be carried out through an efficient machinery.
“The nation is clearly in a perilous situation given the virulent nature of this second wave and we must act decisively to protect our people.’’
The president urged all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels.
He underscored the need for all stakeholders to intensify efforts to check the spread of the virus.
“As the festive season approaches, I urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely,’’ he added.