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COVID-19: FG To Provide 10-Bed ICU In Every State, Says Health Minister

Gloria Ume-Ezeoke  
Updated March 4, 2021
A file photo of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Government plans to provide 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in every state of the Federation, as part of strategies to provide critical response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who gave an assurance that the focus on COVID-19 prevention and treatment would not wipe out the maintenance of normal routine vaccination.

He made the disclosure on Thursday in continuation of the series of presidential briefings coordinated by the Communications Team at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

This edition of the meeting focused on the health sector and plans for the smooth roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines received recently by the government.

Dr Ehanire speaks during a presidential briefing at the State House in Abuja on March 4, 2021.

 

‘Track And Trace’

According to Ehanire, the Federal Ministry of Health intends to develop as a matter of urgency the nation’s emergency medical service to respond to persons with medical distress.

He stressed the need to continue with the public health measures, insisting that there was no specific treatment for COVID-19 but trials to improve therapeutics.

READ ALSO: Nigeria To Begin COVID-19 Vaccination On Friday

On her part, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, announced that the agency would soon commence a ‘track and trace’ exercise.

She explained that this was to mitigate and potentially halt the infiltration of falsified and sub-standard COVID-19 vaccines already detected in the global supply chain.

Adeyeye noted that an indigenous software was also being employed to check the authenticity of received products.

She revealed that NAFDAC was collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure safe monitoring of medicines in the market.

 

Buhari, Osinbajo, Others To Take Vaccine

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who was also present at the briefing, noted that Thursday made it exactly a year and five days since COVID-19 was identified in the country.

He stated that Nigeria has since maintained a robust response to the pandemic and called for the sustenance of critical investment to the health sector to consolidate on the gains achieved in the last one year.

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

For the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, an improved percentage of 50 per cent of Nigerians have indicated willingness to be vaccinated while 25 per cent remained hesitant.

He reiterated that vaccines would not be deployed to any state that has not fulfilled its preparedness criteria.

The NPHCDA boss hinted that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would get their vaccine shots on Saturday.

While he said the actual time for the inoculation of the two leaders would be communicated soon, he hinted that members of the Federal Executive Council would be vaccinated on Monday.