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Presidential Taskforce On COVID-19 Acknowledges Mistakes During Kyari’s Burial

Presidential Taskforce Acknowledges Mistakes During Kyari's Burial

Late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari’s burial ceremony on Saturday.

By Kenneth Jukpor

Following wide complaints that the recent burial of the late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, flouted the social distancing directives of the government, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 that acknowledged its mistake and learnt from the incident.

The burial of the late Chief of Staff, Kyari, on Saturday, 18th of April 2020, attracted a lot of concerns from Nigerians over the non-adherence to the physical distancing measures and mass gathering restrictions at the Gudu Cemetery.

The Taskforce opined that the nonobservance of physical distancing and the flouting of mass gathering restrictions at the cemetery were due to the failure of crowd control measures.

“We acknowledge that mistakes were made, we have learnt from these mistakes and would ensure that future events are adequately regulated in accordance with the Presidential Task Force and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols,” the report signed by the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha said.

It, however, stated that the body of the late Chief of Staff, who died on 17 April 2020, was prepared for burial in line with the NCDC interim guidelines for the safe management of a deceased person with COVID-19 infection.

The report added that, “The body of the late Chief of Staff was thoroughly decontaminated, put in a body bag and then a sealed coffin in Lagos before being flown to Abuja. On arrival in Abuja, all safety measures required to protect those handling the body were strictly adhered to, from the plane to the burial ground. At no time was the body openly exposed to the environment.”

“It is worth noting that while COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is significantly less infectious when compared to Ebola or Lassa fever, the protocols for safe burial must still be strictly followed.”

According to the Taskforce, the incidents that were recorded after the burial, which may have compromised due safety procedures, have been duly recognized and correct steps taken to limit any risk to the public.

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