FG plans to access COVID-19 vaccine doses

The Federal Government has shown displeasure Nigerians violating the rules and regulation stipulated to contain the coronavirus
Ernest Sunday

The Federal Government is furious with the attitude of Nigerian towards containing the coronavirus laying the blame, especially on its youth for not complying with protocols and rules stipulated.

According to the chairman of the Presidential Task Force Boss Mustapha, the government gave up the 2020 budget to acquire all the necessary equipment to fight the virus. Still, the negative attitude of its citizens towards maintaining the rules is not helping.

He disclosed that Nigerian has recorded up to 50,000 cases and 985 death cases and said that 14 of the death cases are doctors who were on duty fighting the novel virus.

“In coordinating this national response, I can assure you that our biggest challenge has been the attitude of some Nigerians.

"That is our biggest challenge. Everything to fight Covid-19 has been placed out our disposal. We arrested the 2020 budget and got it revised, all in an attempt to deal with the financial means in fighting Covid-19.

“We are not in short of any resources to fight Covid-19. We have coordinated a national response that took in everybody that matters in this country. The corporate world through CA-COVID has amassed a huge war-chest of resources.

“So, our major challenge as a Presidential Taskforce has been the attitude of some Nigerians. With our response, we would have flattened the curve.

"We would have dampened this ravaging virus by now if we had just complied with simple instructions and that brings me to a major thing which was aptly demonstrated yesterday when I presented a memorandum to the president for the introduction of a National Policy on Ethics and Integrity.

"Most of us think that as Nigerians, we only have rights, but there are corresponding responsibilities that you are expected to exhibit as a citizen of the country.

“This morning, Nigerians woke up to the stark reality that our confirmed cases of COVID-19 have crossed the 50,000 marks standing at 50,488 and a death toll of 985 bringing us close to the unenviable record of 1,000 fatalities.

"These records are not landmarks to be celebrated especially as every single death further underscores the grief and pains of families and friends, scuttled lives that could have contributed to national development and abridging God’s purpose for the lost soul.

"This is aptly demonstrated by the fact that 14 of these paid the supreme sacrifice as they were doctors who toiled daily to save lives”, said Boss Mustapha during the Thursday briefing.

Mustapha has called on the youth to join in the fight of containing the virus even though they are asymptomatic.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the Federal Government is working with the World Health Organization to see if it can get the proposed COVID-19 vaccine, once approved.

“Such behaviour has been amplified in the surge in some states of the United States of America. Similarly, this unpredictability is reflected in the last twenty-four hours when Plateau State witnessed the highest daily number of confirmed cases.

“In the last two days, the World Health Organisation WHO had issued warnings on Vaccine Nationalism and that young people are aiding the spread of the virus. The latter is more germane for us as Nigerians with our over 80% youthful population and should give us more cause to be on our guard.

"It would border on extreme selfishness for our youths to believe that since they are asymptomatic carriers, they can carry on with life as they please. More so that being asymptomatic does not guarantee immunity forever.

"The PTF is, however, encouraged by the fact that majority of our youths are in the vanguard of this fight and still call on the few non-conforming ones to join”, he said.

Mustapha also said that testing equipment had been increased to test up to 15,000 per day. Still, due to the non-compliance of Nigerian citizens towards the testing, they have only succeeded in testing 3000 to 6000 individuals per day.

According to the Minister Health Dr Osagie Ehanire, the country is working with the World Health organisation to see if they can get the proposed COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

“Nigeria is also working with the World Health Organization to finalise enrollment with ACT Accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring research Organizations working on COVID-19 vaccine development.

"We are also interested in the COVAX facility; a GAVI supported global initiative to procure and assure equitable access to vaccines, as soon as they are available, especially for Lower and lower middle-Income Countries (LMIC).

"This will prioritise Nigeria for allocation of a part of 2 billion vaccines doses that will be secured, in a special plan to protect the interests of poorer countries”.

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