The Chairman of the task force, Mustapha, said the PTF members’ violation of the NCDC’s protocols was regrettable.
The NCDC, in its interim guidelines for the safe management of a dead body, states, “In the event, a ceremony is held, the number of attendees should be limited.
“The ceremony should be held in a well-ventilated structure, attendees should be advised on social distancing throughout the event, ensuring practice of hand and respiratory hygiene.”
Although most attendees at Kyari’s burial wore face masks, they stood less than two metres apart as prescribed by the NCDC protocols.
Following the attendees’ disregard for social distancing rules, the Presidency on Sunday ordered them to stay away from the Presidential Villa for 14 days.
It also stated that journalists, who covered the event, should not come to the Villa in the next 14 days.
Mustapha said the violation was “regrettable.” He stated, “The PTF recognises 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 guidelines provided on mass gatherings, social distancing, personal hygiene and restriction of movement.
“Lessons have been learnt and appropriate measures have been taken to close all gaps. We assure all Nigerians of their safety and the determination of the PTF to combat the pandemic.”
Aliyu also apologised, saying, “As stated by the chair of the PTF, we would like to acknowledge and apologise for the mistakes that were made regarding the burial of the late chief of staff.
“We realise that crowd control failed. We have learnt from this and we will ensure future events are adequately regulated and follow the task force protocols.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on his part, said that a new national policy would be released to address the increase in the number of confirmed cases for COVID-19.
The minister said that the body acknowledged the sharp increase in the number of infected persons in Nigeria in the last few days.
He attributed the increase to a new testing strategy of reaching out to people in the communities.
He said, “Thirteen molecular laboratories nationwide have been activated so far by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the target this week is to double the current national testing capacity of 1,500 tests per day.”