Saturday, Feb 27th 2021 8:55 PM

Market Digest Nigeria


COVID-19: Nigerians tested costs less than 1.3m – FG


The federal government has said the 1.3million COVID-19 tests conducted so far in the country may not reflect the true number of people who have been tested.


Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 Boss Mustapha stated this on yesterday at a sensitisation meeting on COVID-19 vaccine with leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria and scholars in Abuja.

He said some people, including himself, had done COVID-19 test more than once and the repeated tests are recorded as part of the 1.3million tests conducted in the country.

“The figure we have may not truly reflect what we have on ground. So, we have not tested 1.3 million,” he said.

The PTF chairman noted that Nigeria, like the rest of the world, is now experiencing a more virulent second wave which has increased the number of COVID-19-related deaths from 1,173 on November 29, 2020 to 1,578 on January 31, 2021, an increase of 34 per cent.

He said the arrival of vaccines has however given hope to humanity that a solution had been found.

“This does not however mean that the NPIs would be discarded. Going forward it shall be NPIs + vaccines for everyone to completely get over the pandemic”, he said.

Speaking further, he said, “While we continue to push the frontiers of compliance with the NPIs through all means including the collaboration with the sub-national entities, faith based organisations, community engagement and through legal instruments such as the recently issued
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021, the role of the Church in the escalation of the awareness on COVID-19, vaccines and minimisation of resistance and hesitancy to it, can never be over-emphasised.”

President of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle, while commending the efforts of the PTF and other relevant authorities in the fight against the spread of the deadly virus in the country, urged strict enforcement of protocol.

He also urged top government officials to do their vaccination in public as a way of leading by example.

In his welcome address, executive director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib said receiving the COVID-19 vaccine does not only protect one, but also an act of charity towards others who are susceptible and cannot protect
themselves due to one challenge or the other.

He noted that evidence from previous vaccinations showed that faith leaders play a critical role in vaccine rollout.

According to him, “they work in communities to involve them in the process, ensuring that they are distributed fairly and fully accepted.

Shuaib however urged religious leaders to challenge inaccurate and harmful messages that could threaten an effective public health response to the pandemic.


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