The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and some other members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, who were at the burial rites of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, did not self isolate in line with the directive from Presidency.
They all attended the daily briefing of the task force on Monday. Many Nigerians had condemned the conduct of those present at the burial of the late Kyari last Saturday.
Some of the attendees of the burial ceremony were barred from the Presidential Villa advised to immediately commence 14 days self-isolation.
Those at the burial rites were: SGF Boss Mustapha, National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Services, Sadiya Farouq, who was at the Defence House resident of the late chief of staff.
Sadiya Farouq was the only one who did not attend the Monday’s briefing.The SGF, in his opening address, admitted that mistakes were made and regretted the PTF’s actions.
Mustapha said: “The PTF recognizes, regrettably, the unintentional violation of the principles and protocols that form the core of our messaging to Nigerians, at the funeral of the late Chief of Staff.
These principles for emphasis, include: the guidance provided on mass gatherings; social distancing; Personal Hygiene; and restriction of movements. “Lessons have been learnt and appropriate measures have been taken to close all gaps.
We assure all Nigerians of safety & the determination of the PTF to combat the pandemic.” On his part, the Nat. Coordinator of the task force, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who was also at the burial and equally attended the Monday briefing, apologized for the mistakes made at Kyari’s burial.
He said: “The PTF will like to acknowledge and apologise for the mistakes that were made regarding the burial of the late Chief of Staff. We realised that crowd control failed, we have learned from this and we will ensure that future events are adequately regulated and follow the task force’s protocols.
“The Gudu Cemetery had since been decontaminated, the personal protective equipment discarded at the site; decontaminated being burned and discarded according to the NCDC guidelines.
Body well prepared – Aliyu The National Coordinator of the task force said Kyari’s body was properly prepared in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC’s guidelines.
He said: “I would like to further clarify the issue of COVID-19 and the burial processes. Contrary to what is on social media, the body of the late Chief of Staff was properly prepared for burial, according to NCDC guidelines and the Islamic faith.
“The bodies of persons with COVID-19, as stated clearly by the WHO guidelines except in cases of viral haemorr-hagic fever and cholera, dead bodies are generally not infectious.
To date, there’s no evidence of persons having become infected from exposure to the bodies of persons who had died of COVID-19. “Therefore, we will like to further assure the public that we will continue to follow the guidelines and protocols we had produced.
The NCDC guidelines are very much reflecting the WHO guidelines. “We’ll also like to assure the public that the task force takes its Presidential mandate seriously and is committed to executing it to the best of its ability.
We ask for the public to continue holding us accountable for our actions.“We read your comments on social media, we listen to you and also acknowledge the issues that might arise, please continue to do so, it is the only way we can continue to improve and fight this big challenges we have.
“The task force will like to acknowledge the prime role that the Chief of Staff played in establishing the Presidential Task Force, he fired the first shot against COVID-19. We will continue to honour his memory and we will continue to do everything possible to overcome this pandemic.”
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