Banditry

…Set to receive 7.5m doses of vaccines

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

The Federal Government  has started probing some airport officials who continue to extort inbound international travelers with a view to helping them evade quarantine in the wake of the resurgence of COVID-19.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee PSC on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this during Monday’s briefing of the committee.

“The PSC has taken note of the challenges raised by travelers that visit the National International Travel Portal in compliance with travel protocols. It has similarly noted with dismay, fraudulent activities perpetuated at our international airports by on-duty staff, who extort money out of those who equally wish to evade quarantine requirement. The authorities are conducting necessary investigation in to various reports received”, he stated.

While he noted that global cases have been on a decline for sometimes now l, Mr Mustapha said there is need for more caution, especially among Nigerians.

According to him, “the PSC has observed that caution is needed rather than over-confidence and that there is a decline of suspicion index among doctors”.

“To slide into complacency can be very fatal, hence the need for serious caution and adherence to the non-pharmaceutical intervention measures, vaccination and protocols on self-isolation. The coronavirus is still very much around us and it is virulent and deadly”, he added.

The SGF added that notable progress is still being made in the area of vaccine, explaining that over 3.5 million doses of Pfizer is being expected from the United States Government this month while about four million doses of Astrazeneca is being expected early next month.

“Nigeria will be receiving over 1m doses of J&J shipments on a monthly basis. The PSC is committed to access enough vaccines for the 70% eligible persons in the country in record time”, he added.

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Mustapha also announced Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa as the newly-appointed Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who will be taking over from Dr.Chikwe Iheakwazu from 1st November, 2021.

On his part, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib said as of September 26 about 4,734,769 eligible people in Nigeria have received their first dose of COVID vaccine.

“This comprises of 3,040,000 with first dose AstraZeneca and 1,694,769 with the first dose of Moderna. This represents 4.2% of the 111,776,503 eligible populations who are targeted to receive full doses of the vaccines for Nigeria to reach herd immunity. Out of the total vaccinated, 1,892,092 eligible persons have received their second dose of which 1,825,739 have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca while 66,353 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated with Moderna”, he explained.

On the issue of vaccine card racketeering, Dr Shuaib reiterated his earlier warning to unscrupulous elements attempting to fraudulently acquire COVID-19 cards without receiving the vaccine.

He said, “buying and selling of COVID-19 vaccines and cards is a criminal offence in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria has provided these vaccines free of charge to all eligible persons. The officer in charge of every designated health facility would be held accountable for every vaccination card and QR code. These must match the quantities of vaccines and devices provided.

“Supervisors and the newly established joint task force (JTF) would be examining the records on health facilities to ensure consistency in inventories. States will be supported to strengthen their monitoring mechanism as well. I therefore urge all Nigerians to report anyone who tries to buy or sell the vaccination cards through any of the following: COVID-19 hotline: 07002201122, NPHCDA website: www.nphcda.gov.ng/complaints or the nearest police station or law enforcement agency”.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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