The Federal Government has asked Nigerians to prepare for difficult days ahead as cases of infected persons continue to rise.
The government noted the effect of these rising numbers would be seen in three weeks through increased death figures as a result of the pandemic.
As of the time of this report, Nigeria has recorded 17, 735. Sadly, 469 people have died from the virus.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who said this on Thursday, added that Nigeria was not out of the woods yet.
Mustapha said that Nigerians must prepare and make sure that they do everything that would help us as a nation and as a people overcome the virus.
He said: “It started in China. We had not business having it here but it has gotten here. I think at this point all we need to do is to prepare and make sure that we do everything that will help us as a nation and as a people overcome this deviant virus.
“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.
“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.
“This is the time that we need to build a hedge around each other and support ourselves to make sure that because of coronavirus nobody should suffer any form of stigmatisation. That is my appeal to all of us because 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.”
The SGF noted that 80 per cent of infected persons are not in isolation centres because of fear of stigmatisation.
He said the government was caring for only 20 per cent of people who show up at isolation centres after developing critical symptoms.
The chairman of the task force appealed to Nigerians to stop stigmatising people who have contracted the virus.