Covid-19 Update: FG Against Jan 18 School Resumption, Nigeria Readies Freezers for Vaccines
As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to spread, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has suspended two staffs and two candidates because they violated the covid-19 protocols at one of its professional testing centre (PTC). The Minister of Health said that 1 in 5 Nigerians tested positive for the virus in the last week, lending weight to the seriousness of keeping to the covid-19 protocols.
The number of new confirmed infections has consistently been over 1,000 every day of the last 7 days, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 113,305.
We asked States not to resume by January 18 – FG
The Federal Government has kicked against the January 18 resumption date that was set for schools in Nigeria. This is especially because of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, said this at the Presidential Task Force briefing on Covid-19 on Monday. According to Adamu, the Federal Government urged state governments to move the resumption date much further than January 18 to allow for more efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Adamu said, “We sat down, looked at the figures and we took the decision that schools should not open. Unfortunately, we have to state this because it is supposed to be a collective decision, but you must understand that the schools we’re talking about, the Federal Government has only about 100″.
However, out of the thousands of schools operating in the country, the Federal Government only owns about 100 and cannot exercise widespread control over the schools’ resumption.
Nigeria now has 3 ultra-cold freezers for storing covid-19 vaccine
Nigeria has taken delivery of 3 ultra-cold freezers that will be used to store the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines that are expected before the end of January. Recall that 100,000 doses of vaccines are set to be received to vaccinate 50,000 people in Nigeria. However, the vaccines need to be stored at very low temperature thus the need for ultra-cold freezers.
The freezers are situated at the National Strategic Cold Store located some miles from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. Each of the freezers has 700 litres capacity, giving all 3 a combined capacity of 2,100 litres.
“The requirement for the 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines that will be available by the end of January/February is 500 litres, so we have enough capacity for the 100,000 doses.”Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA)
CAN supports closure of churches that violate Covid-19 protocols
Many Nigerians are not abiding with the Covid-19 protocols needed to curb the spread of the virus. Buses and cabs are always filled to capacity and leave no room for physical distancing between passengers. This is the same in some churches where the protocols are not being followed.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has expressed its support for the decision of the Oyo State government to shut down churches found to be violating the basic guidelines for curbing the spread of the virus.
CAN Chairman in the state, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju said, “The stand of the government is that any church that defaults will be closed down, and that’s where we are. The guidelines are clear, simple and we expect that by now everyone should be used to wearing face masks, washing hands, maintaining social distancing among other measures.”
Lagos reopens isolation centre
Lagos state has reopened the isolation centre at Ajao Estate to support the efforts of hospitals in fighting the second wave of the Covid-19 in the state. The Ajao Estate Isolation Centre is at Indo-Eye Care Foundation and has 50 beds in the facility. It was built by the Indian community in Nigeria and other corporate bodies and is home to medical equipment worth N250 million.
The centre has water, electricity, lift, entertainment equipment and standby power supply in addition to the medical equipment to aid the treatment of covid-19 cases in the facility. Lagos still maintains the highest number of cases in the country at 41,951, and the congested city keeps fighting a high rate of infection as cases rise daily.
After the cases began to decline in late 2020, the Lagos state government closed the Ajao Estate centre in December in the hopes that the cases would keep dwindling. Unfortunately, the infection rate spiked again following the discovery of a new strain of the virus in Nigeria.
Kogi governor condemns covid-19 vaccine as poison
Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, has condemned the covid-19 vaccines expected in the country and said that he will not take them.
“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid,” he said.
Bello made reference to past efforts by Pfizer to vaccinate Kano children against polio which resulted in some of the children dying and some being crippled. He said, “We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.”
The governor has also insisted that there is no coronavirus in his state and as such the tests conducted in the state have been small compared to those in other states.
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