…alerts on new variant of COVID-19
As the number of reported cases of Coronavirus infection continues to rise unabated in the country, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has extended the phase three of the eased lockdown by one month beginning from today.
This came as the body alerted on the discovery of a new variant of the disease in Nigeria, just as it warned the people against patronizing vaccines from unofficial sources when it is eventually delivered.
PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who made these declaration, also disclosed that preparations were in top gear to receive 600 deportees from Saudi Arabia on 28th and 29th of this month.
Mustapha, inhisremarks at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said the body has been monitoring the rising cases of infections in the country and has been devising means for its control.
According to him, the PTF has been improving on the International Travel Portal to minimize the challenges passengers keep encountering.
He added: “Similarly, it is reviewing the guidelines on the implementation of phase three of the eased lockdown which is due to expire today.
In view of the fact that our numbers are not abating, all extant measures prescribed in these guidelines are (subject to some modifications) extended by a period of one month with effect from Tuesday 26th January, 2020.”
On the discovery of a new variant, the SGF said: “Over the last few weeks, the PTF has been closely following the rising number of infections reported daily in Nigeria and in other jurisdiction. Similarly, our Scientists have been sequencing the variants of the virus. There have been reports of cases with the B117 variant strain, first reported in the UK, found in Nigeria.
Three of these were in travelers out of Nigeria and one in a resident.” Mustapha also enjoined the people to help in the campaign against vaccine hesitancy just as he warned against patronage of the product from unofficial sources whenever it arrives the country.
He said: “The effort to access and deploy vaccines is progressing and as already announced by COVAX, the initial 100,000 doses Nigeria is expecting will now arrive in the early weeks of February. “We wish to assure all Nigerians that the vaccines will be safe and effective when eventually it is deployed.
We enjoin everyone to join in the campaign to eliminate vaccine hesitancy. “I have to however advise all Nigerians that the only source of vaccines that is safe and effective in Nigeria is through the channels of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Please do not patronize any one hawking or marketing vaccines.”
The PTF boss equally informed that the country was working on receiving 600 deportees from Saudi Arabia, disclosing that they are being expected to arrive Nigeria in two batches by 28th and 29th of this month