Dr Sani Aliyu, the Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has said that contrary to what was on social media, the body of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, was properly prepared for burial.
He said that the body was buried according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines and the Islamic faith.
The PTF coordinator said this while answering questions from journalists at the PTF daily briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
“I will 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 Kyari was properly prepared for burial according to NCDC guidelines and the Islamic faith,” he explained.
Aliyu, however, said that 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 coordinator said.
He said that the Gudu cemetery where Kyari was buried had since been decontaminated, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) also discarded at the site, decontaminated, burned and discarded according to the NCDC guidelines.
Aliyi said that the bodies of persons with COVID-19, as stated clearly by the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines were not infectious except in cases of viral haemorrhagic fever and cholera.
According to him, to date, there’s no evidence of persons having become infected from exposure to the bodies of persons who had died of COVID-19.
He assured the public that the PTF would continue to follow the guidelines and protocols it had produced, stressing that the NCDC guidelines were very much reflecting the WHO guidelines.
“We will 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 as 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,” said the coordinator.
He said that the ask force acknowledged the prime role the late Kyari played in establishing the PTF, as he fired the first shot against COVID-19.
He said that the country would continue to honour his memory and also do everything possible to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.