The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has warned Nigerians against sharing of facemasks as well as recycling of those picked from dump sites.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, gave the warning at the daily press briefing of the taskforce on Tuesday.
He said the PTF was aware of the ongoing practice of sharing masks and picking of masks for recycling from dump sites.
According to Mustapha, such acts impose a responsibility on Nigerians to educate others on the dangers inherent in these.
He noted that with the exception of fabric masks, every disposable used mask was hazardous medical waste and should be disposed of properly, preferably by burning.
Mustapha, who said people could be infected through reuse of masks, noted that the virus could remain on surfaces for several hours.
“The unhealthy practice of picking up disposed masks for whatever purpose is harmful to both the individual picking it and whoever procures it later,” he said.
The SGF also called on corporate citizens and public-spirited individuals to play significant roles by injecting the much-needed investment into rural health infrastructure.
He said that given the impact of the COVID-19 on the global economy and the country’s national income, it had become obvious that government alone could not bear the burden.
“The PTF has commenced focus on community ownership, guidance, acceptance and implementation in the control of COVID-19.
“This certainly requires a great deal of investment in strengthening our primary health care system, the manpower and the infrastructure.
“Since the recording of the index case, Nigerians have clamoured for research into home-grown solution to COVID-19,’’ the SGF said.
Mustapha noted that the PTF, as part of its mandate, had continued to promote research and had been appealing to all researchers to go through the validation process so as to enable humanity benefit from their hard work.
He said that the researcher would in turn benefit from the intellectual property rights associated with such research, stressing that the taskforce had consistently pleaded with Nigerians for their support and understanding.
Mustapha also said that the taskforce had always shared its assessment of the level of compliance and the risks associated with non-compliance.
“I wish to use this medium to once again underscore the imperative of collective survival because the lack of compliance by any person or group of persons poses a threat to all of us,” he said.