COVID-19: Nigeria Now Has 13 Cases Of B117 Strain - FG
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COVID-19: Nigeria Now Has 13 Cases Of B117 Strain - FG

The Federal Government has said that the nation has detected a total of 13 of the deadlier B117 variant strain of the COVID-19.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha said this on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, six out of these numbers were detected in the last one week and they all came out of samples collected between November and January.

He, however, assured that the PTF (through the NCDC) was working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance.

He also said that the National snap shot for COVID-19 as at 7 February, 2021 stood at 139,748 cases; active cases, 24,556 (17%); discharged, 113,525 (81.2%); deaths, 1,667 (1.2%) and the total tests being 1,398,630.

While saying that these are just the current cumulative numbers, he said that the test positivity ratio was an indication of the severity of the spread.

“Testing is still being aggressively pursued as a viable strategy and the PTF shall continue to appeal to not just the citizens to get tested but call on sub-national entities to ensure that capacity of the laboratories that have been established within their jurisdictions be fully maximized.

“This will help reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory and the attendant lengthy turnaround time for test results,” Mustapha said.

Overcoming oxygen challenges

He also said that the shortage of oxygen for case management is gradually being overcome as the private sector (CACOVID) is supporting the provision of oxygen nationwide and allocations have been made to states.

“New protection regulations covers all”

The SGF also warned that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed by Mr. President is now fully operational.

“The PFT wishes to reiterate that the provisions contained in the Regulations are lucid and are applicable to all entities (public or private sectors).

“I therefore wish to remind all MDAs of the strong need to deploy technology for meetings, retreat, etc and to avoid large gatherings that may violate the Regulations. If such plans are on-going, they should be modified forthwith.

“The PTF considers the violation of protocols very seriously and urges international passengers arriving Nigeria to ensure compliance with the international travel protocols and observe the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures while in-Country,” Mustapha said.

Vaccine disqualification

The PTF boss who said that the process for accessing vaccines and the plans for getting it to the last mile is progressing, urged all Nigerians and particularly, the media to recognize that humanity is at war with an unseen enemy.

He said, “Nations are also struggling to take poll positions to access the same commodity which is in obvious short supply. We must therefore play our critical complimentary roles of educating the public on the benefits of the vaccines in overcoming the pandemic.

“The PTF similarly wishes to firmly restate that Nigeria was never disqualified from accessing the COVID-19 vaccine. The PTF has debunked the story and so did the WHO.

“Misinformation of Nigerians in any form or shape will be counterproductive and dangerous to our health, security and economy.”

Mustapha added that the PTF, last week, through the Ministry of Aviation briefed on the new burden of test imposed by the Emirates Airlines and KLM on outbound passengers.

He said that the “NCAA, after due consideration, promptly suspended the lifting of outbound passengers on Emirates and KLM for 72 hours until this was resolved.

Mustapha said that the subject was still under deliberations within the nation’s laws and international aviation rules.