COVID-19: NCDC advises EndSARS protesters to be mindful of virus


As protests continue in spite of the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  warns protesters to be mindful of the risk of getting  COVID-19 infection.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the warning on Thursday at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Media Briefing in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that demonstrations against police brutality have taken place in cities across the country in the past week.

The subsequently replaced the scrapped unit with another unit which he called the Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT).

Ihekweazu said: “The number of new cases we will have will be determined by our own behaviour and the circumstances that we find ourselves.

RELATED NEWS: Nigerian father kicks son out of his house for joining #EndSARS protest

“So, right now we are reopening schools; schools by definition means you are going to have more people in confined spaces.

“We have published guidelines together with the Federal Ministry of Education to mitigate those risks. How effectively they are implemented will mean if there will be more transmission or less.

“You can see some of the demonstrations happening across the country. The virus doesn’t know whether you are young or old, policeman or a demonstrator; it uses the opportunity to jump from persons to persons.

“So, we will continue to advise everyone, wherever you are, to continue to wear mask, you can still have you voice heard if you are wearing a mask.

“Whatever the circumstances, whether you are managing school or NYSC camps or outside, the important thing is to continue to carry out these public health measures,’’ he said.

On the reported second wave of the pandemic across the world, the D-G said , “the second wave in Nigeria is inevitable but it won’t happen here because it is happening in Europe.

READ ALSO: “End SARS, end SARS” – Protester refuses to back down despite being flogged by soldiers (Video)

“It  will only happen here based on our behaviour and our own ability to manage it.

“So, as we open up our offices, the onus is on the leaders of each office to determine whether you will come into that room with a mask or without a mask.

“They will determine where there will be sanitizing system in that room or not.

“So, a lot of leadership will be required as we go into the next phase of easing the lockdowns,’’ Ihekweazu said.

NAN also reports that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had in September 2020 announced that youths under the age of 19 accounted for 10 per cent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

According to Ehanire,  as regards COVID-19 and the growing complacency,  though adults, especially those from 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups.

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He had said that records showed that 10 per cent of all positive cases we had been treated were below the age of 19 years.

“They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease,’’ he had said.

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