Covid-19 Update: FG to Commence Vaccine Registration, Dubai Flight Ban Extended to March 10
The Federal Government is ready to vaccinate Nigerians and is taking steps to outline the vaccine registration procedure for everyone. Meanwhile, the number of cases has been increasing and there are reports of a new variant that may be resistant to current vaccines.
From February 8 to 14, 6,606 new persons tested positive for the virus in the country while 199 of the infected persons were travellers who had recently come into the country. There are now 108,153,741 cases in the world.
Here are the more recent developments in the country.
FG to commence vaccine registration soon
The federal government will start registering people in preparation for the vaccination process that will take place in the country. This was announced by the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib. The registration will take place online and offline through an approach dubbed TEACH.
“In the TEACH approach, the T entails Traditional method of vaccinating target population. E means Electronic self-registration of health workers and the general public. A is Assisted Electronic registration for those who cannot self-register. C is Concomitant E- registration and vaccination, and H is House-to-house registration using volunteers for an additional push.”Faisal Shuaib
According to the NPHCDA boss, links for the online registration will be made available this week. Frontline health workers and support staff, rapid response teams and contact tracing teams will be considered first. Also to be given primary consideration are people aged 59 and above, people aged 18 to 49 with significant comorbidities and other at-risk groups.
UK says Covid-19 variant that originated from Nigeria may be resistant to vaccine
A new variant of the Covid-19 which researchers say originated from Nigeria has been discovered. Named B1525, the variant shares similarities in its genome with the Kent variant, B117, and contains a number of mutations that have made researchers anxious.
An associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, Simon Clarke, speaking about the variant said that it may prove more resistant to present vaccines. He said, “We don’t yet know how well this [new] variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.
““I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated.”
The result of more research on the covid-19 cases in the coming weeks will determine the course of action for treating patients with this strain globally.
Emirates extends ban on Nigerian travellers till March
Nigerians will not be able to travel to Dubai until March 10, Dubai authorities have said. This is as a result of Covid-19 protocols between the two countries. Dubai authorities now require travellers from Nigeria to take Covid-19 tests at most 4 hours before getting aboard the flight to UAE.
The federal government objected to this stringent requirement and as a result of talks between both countries, Nigeria will not be carrying passengers into Dubai until after March 10. Passengers will be able to fly into Nigeria from the UAE, however.
In addition to travellers from Nigeria, passengers who have been through or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into the United Arab Emirates.
The statement by Emirates airline read, “Customers from both Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travel prior to or including this date. Passengers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not allowed entry into the UAE (whether terminating in or connecting through Dubai).”
Foreign syndicates are issuing fake Covid-19 test result for Nigerians
Some foreign medical syndicates are issuing fake Covid-19 test results to Nigerians who are travelling into the country, according to the federal government. This means there’s a good chance that a lot of people infected with the virus may have entered the country.
According to the National Incident Manager for the PTF, Mukhtar Mohammed, the syndicates are being investigated and will be brought to book in their respective countries.
Recall that Nigeria blocked the passports of some incoming travellers who failed to present themselves for a repeat covid-19 test after landing in the country. Travellers who obtained a fake result from the foreign syndicates and then failed to do a repeat test in Nigeria have a higher chance of transmitting the virus if they are positive as well. They may also develop complications from not being aware and treating the infection on time.
Mukhtar added that those who have a fake result will be quarantined in any of the health facilities, bear the expenses of the facility, feeding and the lab test, after which they will also be liable to prosecution.
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