By Ismaila Chafe
The Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, says Nigerians must continue to thank God in view of the country’s low mortality rate being recorded following the community spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
Mustapha stated this when he briefed State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
He maintained that Nigerians should thank the Almighty God that the mortality rate of the virus had remained low when compared to other countries with similar climatic features like South American countries.
According to him, the mortality rate of the disease is also low due to the age bracket of most of those infected by the virus in the country, saying most victims of the disease are in the age bracket of 31 to 40 years.
“The reason for low mortality is that we just remain grateful to God why the mortality is not very, very high – is a thing that it should be subject of even study because we have the same climatic environment with countries like South American countries like Brazil.
“But you can see that the rate of mortality is quite high – In most countries it falls within the bracket of about five-point-something while ours is about two-point-four and two point five per cent mortality.
“The other thing that is going for us is the age bracket of the infections. You will see that the age bracket that we have, age demographic is between 31 and 40, years and that is a very, very active age.
“Those are the ones that within the percentage of about 80 per cent can wither the infections; some will show mild symptoms and not take ill severely.
“The 20 per cent that is remaining from that are those that are likely to fall sick and five per cent of the 20 per cent are likely to be critically ill that they would require even the level of oxygenation and ventilation,’’ he said.
Mustapha revealed that the PTF had identified 18 Local Government Areas (as against the previous 21) out of the 774 local governments as high burdened with 60 per cent rate of the reported 24,077 infections in the country.
“We have identified 18 Local Governments out of the 774 local governments that are considered to be high-burdened with this infection, they account for 60 per cent of the 24, 077 infections,’’ he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mustapha had earlier briefed the president on the second phase of the gradual easing of lockdown announced four weeks ago, to check the spread of the deadly virus.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), was accompanied by Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, the Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu.
The Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, was also in attendance of the meeting with the president.