Poverty, Demography Have Helped Nigeria’s Fight Against COVID-19 – PTF

PTF coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu
PTF coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu

Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said poverty and demography of Nigeria have contributed to the success in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

It would be recalled that Nigeria confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on February 27, 2020 and as at September 16, the country has recorded 56,604 infections.

However, 47,872 patients have recovered from the disease, while only 1,091 deaths have been recorded so far.

Read Also: NCDC Announces 126 New Coronavirus Cases, 3,442 Recoveries, 3 Deaths

Speaking about these figures before the joint senate committee on health and aviation on Wednesday, Sani Aliyu, PTF national coordinator, said poverty rate, demography of African countries such as Nigeria, and the “aggressive” way the continent has tackled the pandemic contributed to the successes recorded.

Also present at the meeting were Osagie Ehanire, minister of health and Smart Adeyemi, chairman of the senate committee on aviation and other stakeholders.

Aliyu stressed;

Demographically, only 3% of Nigerians are above the age 65 as against 20%, 18%, etc, of such populations in European and American countries where death casualties were high.

Poverty rate and The aggressive nature of African countries against the pandemic also helped tremendously in containing the spread of the pandemic in Nigeria and many of the African countries.

Affirming that Nigeria is succeeding in the fight against the pandemic, Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, however called for a review of the COVID-19 protocols, considering the level of adherence across the country.

Emphasizing on this, Adeyemi expressed concern over the COVID-19 test protocols for international flight passengers, and called on the PTF to work out measures that would not negatively affect the economy.

He stated;

We cannot continue swallowing hook, line and sinker, measures being adopted to fight it in Europe, America, China and other foreign countries.

There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it was there.

The Senator stressed;

In the light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the nation’s economy.

Adeyemi said some measures were unfair to average Nigerians as they are forced to spend N75,000 on COVID-19 test alone.

He expressed;

The amount is too high. It should be brought down and the public health institutions’ laboratories should be equipped to carry out the tests.

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