COVID-19: 731 Corps Members Test Positive –PTF

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force On COVID-19, Boss Mustapha on Tuesday during the weekly news briefing said no fewer than Seven hundred and thirty-seven corps members (731) from the Batch B have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to him, the cases were recorded from all states across the country.

“In continuation of the NYSC engagement, the PTF has conducted the testing of Batch B Corpers using RDTs,” he said.

“Out of the 35,419 in the Batch B, 731 tested positive compared to 108 recorded during the Batch A.

“It is on record that cases were recorded from Corps Members from every State of the Federation”.

Read the full speech of the PTF Chairman below.


I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for today, Tuesday, 5th January, 2021.

2.Let me on behalf of the PTF welcome all Nigerians to the year 2021. The PTF wishes everyone a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.

3. At the last briefing to close 2020, we appealed to all Nigerians to stay safe and act in most defensive and protective ways by complying with the NPIs already prescribed. We do hope that at individual levels you took the expected responsibility.

4. Closely associated with that is the increasing daily numbers that we are recording. Yesterday 4th January, 2021, we recorded 1,204 infections. This was the highest daily number ever recorded since we commenced the national response. From our analysis, we are beginning to see the effect of activities carried out during the Christmas festivities. We can only hope that numbers will not escalate beyond control. We however, still appeal to all citizens to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.

5.As at date, the statistics for Nigeria shows the following:

✓ Cumulative cases: 91,351

✓ Cumulative Tests: 958,911

✓ Deaths: 1,318

✓ Week 53 recorded 57 deaths which is the highest for any single week since we started.

✓ There is also a rising rate of infections among health care workers and this calls for the escalation of surveillance.

✓ In Africa, Nigeria has joined South Africa in reporting the highest daily infection cases.

6. As we have always maintained, testing is a key strategy under the national response. To this end we can report that there are about 100 laboratories across the country. These are 71 public labs; 22 private labs and 7 corporate labs. Collectively, they are to help improve testing in the country.

7. Regrettably, however, there is still very low testing in a number of states. For clarity, the DG NCDC will elaborate on the spheres of responsibility in testing and the Federal Government has sufficiently supported the States to enable them support surveillance and IPC.

8.To overcome some of these challenges, the PTF will intensify the risk communication and community engagement to create awareness. The shared level of doubts about the virus is alarming and I call on everyone to become advocates in support of the National Response.

9. In continuation of the NYSC engagement, the PTF has conducted the testing of batch B Corpers using RDTs. Out of the 35,419 in the Batch B, 731 tested positive compared to 108 recorded during the Batch A. It is on record that cases were recorded from Corps Members from every State of the Federation.

10. In the last two weeks, a lot has been discussed on case management and in particular, the availability of oxygen to save lives. We are pleased to inform you that the private sector – CACOVID has commenced supporting our response with 100 oxygen cylinders per day till the end of March, 2021, for distribution to critical care centres in Abuja.

11. Furthermore, approval has been given to rehabilitate five oxygen plants across various tertiary health institutions in Abuja. The President has also approved that at least one oxygen plant should be established in each state of the federation immediately. The National Coordinator will elaborate on this during this briefing.

12. The PTF is progressing on the issue of accessing vaccines for Nigerians. Additional information will be provided to Nigerians on accelerated vaccines introduction and deployment plan.

13.What is currently confronting us is a critical phase of infections globally. We are constantly reviewing our strategy to emerging situations especially in risk communication, vaccine hesitancy, fake news/disinformation.

14. Finally, I wish to confirm that the PTF has commenced the sanctions on passengers who defaulted on day-7 post-arrival tests. Their passport numbers have been published and travel restriction imposed for a period of six months effective 1st January, 2021.

15. Let me categorically state that the PTF has generated over 20,000 inbound passengers that have also defaulted. The publication will continue weekly till it is exhausted.

16. Nigerians should be aware that every defaulter is a threat to public health which is unacceptable to us and represent a drawback to the National Response. We have a duty to advise our relations, friends, associates to comply with laid down rules. The DG (NCDC) and the National Coordinator will update you on this.

17. I now invite the Hon. Minister of State for Health, the DG (NCDC) and the National Coordinator to brief you from the technical perspectives.

18. I thank you all for listening.


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