Sani Aliyu, national coordinator of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, has stated that the committee is concerned about reports that’s people are being smuggled in trucks out of Lagos.
This, Aliyu said while giving updates on COVID-19 today.
He said inter-state travels are leading to community spread of the disease.
He called on Nigerians to reduce their movement if the disease must be curtailed.
Several states in the country had banned inter-state travels in a bid to check the spread of COVID-19.
“I will like to talk on travel restrictions and to reemphasise the need for people to stay at home especially in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun. I would also like to note the issue of people travelling in-between states, inter-state travel. We have noticed that community spread is now being traced to people travelling across state borders,” Aliyu said.
“We need to try and restrict our movement in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This is particularly pertinent with regards to news of people being smuggled in trucks out of Lagos which is quite concerning to us.”
On their parts, Osagie Enahire, minister of health, and Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) raised concerns about how stigmatisation is inhibiting the government’s fight against the outbreak.
Ihekwazu said stigmatising people who tested positive for COVID-19 would cause them to run away from treatment, consequently leading to further spread of the disease.
“People have been asking questions, where are the people with COVID-19 living? What part of town are they? Of course, everyone is anxious and frightened. Unfortunately, this anxiety seems to be leading to stigmatisation,” Ihekweazu said.
“When the HIV hit our world, we did the same thing. But this is an infection, it doesn’t get to you because you have done anything bad or you have committed a crime. It is not karma, it is just a virus.
“The people with this virus have children, wives, family members. They need to be respected. It affects their mental well being if we as a society are stigmatising them.