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Buhari extends PTF’s mandate till March 2021, calls for more vigilance as COVID-19 cases rise

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till March 2021 over the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The president disclosed this when he received the PTF’s End-of-Year Report at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Buhari set up the PTF on March 9 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The PTF is headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

President Buhari said: “Recent reports reaching me indicate that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide 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 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-19 vaccine in a safe, effective, and timely manner.

READ ALSO: Buhari to meet with PTF members today over covid-19 second wave –Presidency

“This is an important obligation that we owe Nigerians as we go into the 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 stressed the need for all stakeholders to intensify efforts in checking the spread of the COVID-19

“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,’’ Buhari added.

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