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Nigeria receives COVID-19 vaccines today as online registration begins 

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  • PTF plans to vaccinate over 100 million Nigerians by 2022

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says between now and 2022, it hopes to vaccinate about 70 per cent of Nigerian population put at 209 million.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, stated this on Monday during a press briefing.

National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has commenced online registration of Nigerians interested in taking COVID-19 vaccines.

The registration is coming ahead of the expected delivery of the first batch of the vaccines today

NPHCDA on Monday launched the electronic registration platform to enable eligible Nigerians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The government said it is employing a T.E.A.C.H strategy, which combines indigenous (traditional) approaches with modern technologically enabled systems of vaccination and leverage experiences gained during the polio immunisation programme.

The launch of the registration platform came just as the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised all countries to limit vaccination for now to persons above 18 years, until research and studies are completed on any possible effect on growing children.

Nigeria is set to receive its first batch of 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine today.

Speaking at the official launch of the T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination of eligible Nigerians and Electronic Management of Immunisation Data (EMID) in Abuja, the Executive Director/CEO of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the vaccination process would be in four phases.

According to him, the first group is frontline health workers who are the first priority group of eligible populations to receive the first doses of vaccines arriving in the country.

The second are strategic leaders like the president, vice president, ministers, governors, and religious and traditional leaders.

According to him, the leaders are listed among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines in order to show to the public that the vaccines are safe and effective as validated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said, “In phase one, healthcare workers, frontline workers, ports of entry (air, land, and sea ports), military, COVID-19 rapid response team (RRT), laboratory network, policemen, and petrol station workers and strategic leaders will be vaccinated first.

“Frontline workers include support staff such as cleaners, security staff, body handlers, drivers, waste managers, oil & gas workers, bankers etc.

“Next is phase two, which will comprise older adults aged 50 years and above, and those with co-morbidities aged 18-49 years of age. Phase three includes those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases one and two, and phase four includes other eligible populations as vaccines become available.”

He explained that the e-registration process will make for easy and stress-free registration prior to vaccination.

He added that once an individual completes registration, a unique pre-vaccination identifier will be issued via the website – with which he or she will take to the vaccination site for proper identification before getting vaccinated.

He advised Nigerians to choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated.

Shuaib said individuals could assess the e-registration portal via the agency’s website – https://nphcdaict.com.ng/publicr.eg.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who confirmed today’s arrival of the vaccines, said, “In less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Nigeria from the COVAX Facility and will be deployed to vaccinate, first our critical frontline health care workers, who are providing essential care, especially for severe COVID-19 patients, next to those who are at the highest risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection and down to 70 per cent of Nigerians.

“Well before the four million doses of AstraZeneca we are going to receive is expended, we shall be receiving more vaccines, and so, there should be no need for anxiety. We shall also, be receiving other types of vaccines and all will ensure that the entire vaccination administration will be sustained in a smooth way and will be applied nationwide – leaving no one behind.”

The Country Representative of the WHO, Mr. Walter Kazadi, said vaccines alone would not win the war against COVID-19.

He urged Nigerians to comply with all the COVID-19 safety protocols.

 

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COVID-19

Anxiety in NYSC camps as COVID-19 cases hit 109

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There are fears among young graduates currently at the various camps of the National Youth Service Corps across the country, as at least 109 prospective corps members are said to have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The NYSC orientation camps were opened at the weekend for Batch B, Stream 1 of this year’s season of the national youth service.

The cases were detected following mandatory COVID-19 tests conducted on reporting corps members. The identified cases, our reporters gathered, have been moved to isolation centres in the respective states.

The NYSC officials at the states level have constituted COVID-19 Vanguard, a team to aid enforce compliance to health protocols on the camps.

The Federal Government on Monday raised the alarm over the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the virus to more states, as authorities mull fresh lockdown for the worst-hit states.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control shows a sharp spike in incidences with 851 cases recorded in the first two days of August.

The agency’s statistics indicate that 11 persons died from COVID-19 complications on the second day of the month.

In Edo State, for instance, 17 corps members tested positive for the virus at the point of registration.

It was gathered that all the corps members were tested for the virus before being admitted into the camp.

The state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Abiodun Olubukola, had during the swearing-in ceremony inaugurated COVID-19 Vanguard as part of efforts to ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol.

The Chief Medical Director, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Edo State, Dr Osagie Ebomwonyi disclosed that 17 corps members in the state were currently receiving COVID-19 treatment at the hospital’s isolation centre.

The personal assistant to the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr Ozeto Waheed, confirmed the development.

An employee of NYSC at the orientation camp in the Mangu Local Government Area said the camp had recorded 26 cases since the commencement of the orientation exercise.

In Gombe State, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has called on corps members posted to the state to avail themselves at the testing centre to know their COVID-19 status.

The NYSC DG was in Amada Temporary Orientation Camp following the recently reported COVID-19 cases, where 25 corps members posted to the state tested positive for the disease.

He said that it is mandatory for every corps member to get tested and adhere to the rules, adding that they must comply with the non-pharmaceutical rules to stay safe and return to their parents healthy.

 

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COVID-19

NGF: States to reintroduce COVID protocol, fast-track vaccine procurement to prevent third wave

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says states will reintroduce measures for curbing the spread of the coronavirus to prevent a third wave of infections.

 

This was part of the resolutions reached by the governors after a meeting on Wednesday.

 

The decision was taken following a presentation by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, on the concerns about a third wave of infections in the state.

 

On July 11, Sanwo-Olu had warned Lagos residents of a possible outbreak, following a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, which he said may lead to a third wave of infections.

 

In a statement issued after the meeting on Wednesday, Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the forum, said the governors also agreed to liaise with the federal government on ways to speed up the procurement of additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

“The Forum received an update from the Governor of Lagos State, H.E Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and call for consensual action to prevent a third wave in the country,” Fayemi said.

 

“Following the update, the Forum called on all State Governors to revive their COVID protocols and collaborate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take appropriate and immediate actions to flatten the transmission curve.

 

“The Forum will interface with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to accelerate processes required to fast track the delivery of additional vaccines for the country.”

 

During the first wave of infections, guidelines such as restriction of movement, compulsory use of face masks, and strict adherence to physical distancing were in force, but with the drop in infection numbers, such measures have been relaxed across the country.

 

However, with concerns raised over a possible increase in infections, following the confirmation of the “highly infectious” Delta variant in Abuja and Oyo, it isn’t yet clear what exact measures the governors will reintroduce.

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COVID-19

Delta COVID variant, linked to high infection rate, detected in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the index case of the delta variant of the coronavirus in Nigeria.

The NCDC disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

According to the NCDC, the variant was detected during routine tests for in-bound travellers in Abuja.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2. The variant was detected in a traveler to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja,” the statement reads.

“The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility. The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries.

“The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.”

The development comes days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed concern over the “speedy” spread in infection rates in Africa as countries battle a third wave of COVID-19.

In a statement issued on July 1, the WHO had raised concern over variants of concern, especially the delta variant, adding that infection rates are doubling every week, and the virus is spreading faster than previous records.

However, according to the NCDC, the federal government is stepping up efforts through collaboration with the “Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing”, in order “to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities”.

“Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place. Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease,” the agency said.

“Additionally, states are urged to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public. Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population.

“The recommended control measures to limit the spread of the Delta variant continue to be testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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