By Ejike Ejike |
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha said Nigeria has recorded variant of COVID-19, B117 variant strain.
Speaking at the national briefing on COVID-19, the PTF chairman said: “A total of 13, B117 variant strain have so far been detected in Nigeria. Six out of these numbers were detected in the last one week and they all came out of samples collected between November and January.
“The PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance.”
Speaking on the treatments and availability of oxygen, the PTF chairman said, “the PTF wishes to report that the shortage of oxygen for case management is gradually being overcome.
“The private sector (CACOVID) is supporting the provision of oxygen nationwide and allocations have been made to states.”
Speaking on violation of protocols, the PTF boss said, “The PTF considers the violation of protocols very seriously and urges international passengers arriving Nigeria to ensure compliance with the international travel protocols and observe the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures while in-Country.”
Speaking on vaccines, Mustapha said: “The process for accessing vaccines and the plans for getting it to the last mile is progressing.
The PTF wishes to appeal to all Nigerians and particularly, the media to recognize that humanity is at war with an unseen enemy.
Meanwhile, minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is currently studying the Russian Sputnik V and India’s Covax vaccines.
Speaking at the national briefing on COVID-19 yesterday, the minister said: “With regard to vaccines, Nigeria has kept abreast of global development and supports the call of WHO for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, since COVID-19 is a threat to mankind.
“We subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the Covax facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free of charge, to cover 20 percent of our population. The expected first wave of 100,000 vaccines derived from this facility.
There has since been a change that now offers Nigeria 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of the year.”
He further said, “The increase in oxygen availability began with the repair of two oxygen plants at the National Hospital, Abuja through the federal government intervention and the commendable intervention of the private sector, who have ensured that large quantities of oxygen cylinders are delivered to treatment centers as needed.”
While debunking the news that Nigeria was disqualified from vaccine allocation, the minister said “I must here request viewers and readers to disregard the news over the weekend that Nigeria was ‘disqualified’ from a vaccine allocation. This is false, Nigeria has ultracold (minus 80oC) freezers in strategic stores in Lagos, Abuja and Bauchi, with space to hold over 400,000 doses of vaccines, more than the 320,000 doses WHO Afro had offered”, said the minister.