Nigeria will soon receive over 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that will cover an estimated 45 per cent of the country’s population, the Federal Government said on Monday.
The government said Nigeria subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free to cover 20 per cent of the population.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said these in Abuja during the weekly press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said, “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 per cent of our population.
“There has since been a change that now offers Nigeria 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of the year. The other multilateral platform is the African Union AVATT platform, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, chaired by the President of South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa.
“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.
“Nigeria subscribes to this whole-of-Africa approach that strives to ensure that we are safe and our neighbours are safe. We shall be offered over 42 million doses by AVATT. If all the projected vaccines are supplied, we estimate we should have covered over 45 percent of the population.”
Ehanire said in addition to the proposed sources, Nigeria has had bilateral negotiations with Gamaleya of Russia over their Sputnik V vaccine, which they were willing to supply to Nigeria, adding that the Russian vaccine had an efficacy of 91 per cent.
12 states get 1000 CACOVID cylinders, oxygen
Meanwhile, the PTF has commenced the distribution of 1,000 oxygen cylinders donated by the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 for treatment of patients with severe cases.
The National Incident Manager, PTF, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, who made this known at the briefing, said the cylinders would be shared to 12 states with the highest number of hospitalised patients.
He said, “The CACOVID is distributing oxygen cylinders as well as regulators and flow meters. About 1,000 cylinders will be distributed to 12 states. These are 12 high-burden states based on hospitalisation.
“The states include Enugu, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kwara, Kano, Edo, Kaduna, Anambra, Ogun, Oyo, Borno and Rivers.”
PTF publishes second list of 100 on travel ban today
Muhammad also announced that the second batch of international passengers who arrived in the country and breached the COVID-19 protocol would be published on Tuesday (today).
Muhammad said, “The PTF will be publishing the list of 100 passengers who have violated the COVID-19 protocol tomorrow (today). This list has been submitted to the Nigerian Immigration Service and will be available in newspapers tomorrow (today).”
13 cases of UK COVID-19 variant detected in Nigeria
Also, the Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha, disclosed that 13 cases of the United Kingdom strain of the virus known as B117 have so far been detected in Nigeria.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said, “The PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance.
“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.”
FG seals Abuja laboratory for issuing fake COVID-19 results
In a related development, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the Federal Government sealed of an Abuja-based laboratory for issuing fake COVID-19 results to international travellers.
He said the development followed an investigation conducted by the government after a media report last year revealed underhand dealings of some laboratories issuing fake results.
Recall that an online newspaper, The Cable, had in an undercover story in December 2020, reported that for N25,000, travellers were getting fake COVID-19 test results.
Ihekweazu said based on that report, investigation was conducted and the affected laboratory was sealed with the assistance of the Federal Capital Territory Authority.
Again, FG shifts date of National Sports Festival
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has announced that the date for the 20th National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Benin City has again been changed.
He said the change in date was necessitated by the virulent nature of the second wave of COVID-19.
The minister said the festival had been shifted to April without mentioning the specific commencement date.