Covid-19 Update: WHO Insists Nigeria Will Get Vaccines, PTF Bans 100 New Travellers
As Nigeria continues to scramble about for vaccines in its bid to achieve herd immunity, new infections are being recorded every day. Because there are not enough isolation centers to accommodate the increasing number of cases, alternative measures of treatment are being considered by the NCDC.
From February 3 to 9, a total of 7,895 people tested positive for Covid-19, according to stats from the NCDC. This is an increase of 765 from the 7,130 cases recorded in the previous week. The highest number of cases (1,624) was recorded on February 5.
Here are other developments related to the pandemic.
WHO dispels vaccine rumours
The World Health Organization (WHO) has cleared rumours that claimed Nigeria and other African countries have been disqualified from obtaining the covid-19 vaccines. According to the rumour, the relatively hot temperatures associated with the continent will be unsuitable for the vaccines and as such, the WHO won’t waste vaccines by giving them to countries in the continent.
The WHO country representative in Nigeria, Walter Kazadi Mulomboo, told pressmen at a briefing on Saturday that Nigeria and other countries are eligible to get vaccines through the COVAX scheme. According to him, Nigeria received the highest allocation in Africa.
Of all the 88 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses allocated to African countries for the first phase, Nigeria has received by far the largest allocation, with 16 million dosesWalter Kazadi Mulomboo
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is currently under WHO review for emergency use listing and is expected to be accessible to countries in Africa by February ending.
NCDC seals health facility issuing fake Covid-19 result
Port Health Services (PHS) located at the Abuja Airport has been sealed off by the NCDC for issuing fake covid-19 test results. The facility collects samples from travellers, however, there is no proof that the samples are actually tested.
This means that the results issued to people by the facility does not state the true position of their health. The NCDC said that it cracked down on the facility after an investigative report by The Cable Newspaper uncovered illegal issuing of Covid-19 test results.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said “Last week, the FCT Administration supported us in an investigation that ended up in the sealing of one of those testing centre in Abuja. This centre had been collecting funds from citizens and issuing fake results.”
In order to avoid getting falsified test results for the test, there are certified health facilities that have been listed on the NCDC Covid-19 site that anyone can reach out to for a test.
CACOVID reject BUA’s vaccine donation Claim
The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) rejected the claim of one of its members, BUA Group, that it purchased 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for the country. The group announced on Monday that it had procured 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine through the AfreximBank vaccine programme and in partnership with the CACOVID for the benefit of Nigerians.
In CACOVID’s response to the alleged purchase, it said that individuals or organizations cannot purchase covid-19 vaccines except through the federal government. The coalition added that it was dismayed to learn of reports on social media alleging that BUA is singlehandedly purchasing one million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Nigeria.
In trying to clear the air, the coalition also said that the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, must have been misquoted because CACOVID operates on a collegiate fund contribution model.
Nigeria will receive 42 million vaccines from AU’s AVATT initiative
In addition to the vaccines being expected from the COVAX initiative, Nigeria will get another 42 million vaccine doses from the African Union. Recall that Faisal Shuaib said that another 42 million vaccine doses are going to be received by Nigeria through the COVAX facility. Out of this 42 million doses, Nigeria ought to have received 100,000 in January but a series of delays have pushed the arrival dates into February.
The newest development is that the African Union is now in possession of 300 million doses of the covid-19 vaccines and will be distributing them through the AVATT initiative. Nigeria is a part of this initiative and through it, the country will get 42 million vaccines which is expected to cover 21 million people in the country.
“AVATT has acquired 300 million doses of three types of vaccines which have been offered to African countries, based on population, such that no country is left behind,” the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said.
Another change to the COVAX initiative plan is that out of the 42 million vaccine doses expected, 16 million will be received in the first 6 months of 2021. However, there are no set dates for when they will get to Nigeria.
100 travellers banned for failing to take Covid-19 test
Another set of 100 passengers have been restricted from travelling out of Nigeria for the next 6 months because they failed to keep to the established covid-19 protocols. The 100 people did not get a covid-19 test after landing in the country and moved on with their activities. The Presidential Task Force announced the sanction on its Twitter page on Tuesday.
In January, the PTF sanctioned its first set of 100 people for refusing to take the covid-19 test and banned them from flying from January 1 to June 30. The latest set will be restricted from travelling from February 5 to July 30, 2021. The sanctions are in a bid to ensure that incoming travellers are tested for the virus in order for them to self-isolate and treat themselves if there is a need.
Incoming travellers are expected to self-isolate and then take the test 7 days after they arrived in the country. So far, Nigeria has recorded 140,000 cases of the covid-19. With no vaccine available yet, maintaining social distancing and observing all protocols are still the best way to reduce the spread of the infection in the country.
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