Why Buhari, Others Will Receive COVID-19 Vaccine ‘In The Open’ – Minister

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and others are to receive the COVID-19 vaccine dose “in the open”.

This is according to the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who explained the rationale behind the decision.

Although he did not give a specific time as to when President Buhari would be vaccinated, he answered affirmatively when specifically asked if the vaccine would be administered to the President and others publicly.

“Why not? Because we want to let the people know that this vaccine is safe, that is why we will do it in the open because we need to generate that confidence and build trust in the people,” Mamora said on Monday while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He explained, “Even in a war situation, you will want to protect as much as possible the strategic leaders of the country. Of course, Mr President, the governors…  that’s what we refer to as strategic leadership.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Tomori Warns Against A Third Wave, Urges Nigerians To Take Responsibility

(FILE) President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and others in Abuja on December 22, 2020.

 

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had hinted on Saturday that Nigeria would soon receive the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 2, 2021.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), disclosed that the first shipment of 3,924,000 million doses of vaccines would be coming from COVAX, a World Health Organisation (WHO)-backed initiative set up to procure and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines for free among countries across the world.

Less than 24 hours to the delivery of the vaccines, Mamora explained that the vaccine would be administered in the order of priority.

The first set of people to be considered, according to him, include the frontline health workers, the elderly, and strategic leaders in the country.


VIDEO: Nigeria To Receive About Four Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine


Despite receiving the vaccine elsewhere, he insisted that incoming travellers would be made to observe the existing protocols to curb the spread of the disease.

The minister said, “The protocol is there already which is the need to produce evidence of having taken the PCR test within the stipulated time limit which is about 72 hours before boarding, and then even when they come into the country, they will go into isolation and on the seventh day, they will still be required to do the PCR test.

“It doesn’t matter (if they have been vaccinated) because having been vaccinated does not absolutely say that you cannot get the infection, what the vaccine guarantees is that if you get the infection, you are not likely to succumb.”

COVID-19 Vaccine: FG To Prioritise Health Workers, Elderly, Strategic Leaders

 

Nigerian authorities say the expected COVID-19 vaccine would be administered in the order of priority, less than 24 hours to the arrival of the vaccine.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, disclosed this on Monday while highlighting the preparedness of the government to take delivery of the vaccines.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast programme – Sunrise Daily, he noted that the frontline health workers would be the first set of people to get the vaccine.

“The first will be the frontline health workers because they are facing the battle heavily. They will come first then, secondly, we will look at the elderly – those above 60, 65 years and particularly with comorbidities (people who have existing health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease – they will also be in that group.

“We will also be looking and the strategic leadership of the country, and then we would be looking at some other people like those at the point of entry, border post managers, and things like that; This will be the order in terms of priority for now,” the minister stated.

He explained that those referred to as strategic leaders comprise President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors, and other key public office holders in the country.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Tomori Warns Against A Third Wave, Urges Nigerians To Take Responsibility

A file photo of COVID-19 vaccine doses at a manufacturing plant.

 

Defending the decision to include the President and others among the first set of people to be vaccinated, Mamora said, “Even in a war situation, you will want to protect as much as possible the strategic leaders of the country. Of course, Mr President, the governors…  that’s what we refer to as strategic leadership.”

Asked if the vaccine would be administered to the President and others publicly, he answered affirmatively.

“Why not? Because we want to let the people know that this vaccine is safe, that is why we will do it in the open because we need to generate that confidence and build trust in the people.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had announced that Nigeria would soon receive the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said last Saturday that the first shipment of 3,924,000 doses of vaccines would be coming from COVAX, a World Health Organisation (WHO)-backed initiative set up to procure and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines for free among countries across the world.

He had hinted that the vaccines would depart India on Monday and arrive in Abuja on March 2, 2021.

COVID-19: NIN Registration Might Be Suspended Due To Large Crowd, Says Health Minister

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, says the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment may be suspended due to large crowds which pose COVID-19 risks.

Mamora, who is also a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.

“Nobody feels good; I don’t feel good looking at the picture where people are gathered in multitude. It’s like a super spreader event which we don’t like. I’m also aware that the relevant ministry which is the communications and digital economy is looking at this.

READ ALSO: 1358 Deaths Recorded As Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 100,000

“My understanding is that the whole process may be suspended so as to reorder the whole process in terms of management of the crowd because it was never intended that it would become a rowdy process like that. So, people may have to wait and be called at intervals to go through the process,” he said.

The Minister also urged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to re-order the enrolment process to avoid large crowds at its centres nationwide.

He said the government has a duty to ensure Nigerians are protected at all times.

Crowds gather at the NIMC office in Katsina for NIN registration.

 

“We have a duty as government to ensure that people are protected; we also have a duty to ensure people comply within the limit of what is good for the society at large,” the health minister said.

Dozens of people have continued to gather at NIMC offices across the country to register for their National Identification Number (NIN).

The crowd defied the surge in COVID-19 infections in the country and struggle on long queues at NIMC offices in the nation’s capital, Abuja, Lagos, Katsina, etc.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami in reaction blamed Nigerians for flouting COVID-19 protocols while participating in NIN registration.

He also claimed that it takes five minutes for each Nigerian to complete the registration.

Crowds gather at NIMC office in Abuja for NIN registration.

FG Worried About Resurgence Of COVID-19 Infection Among Health Workers

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, addressing reporters at the PTF briefing in Abuja on August 13, 2020.

 

The Federal Government says it is worried about the resurgence of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among healthcare workers in the country.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, stated this on Thursday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He outlined some of the steps taken by the government in reducing the rate of infection among healthcare workers.

Mamora revealed that part of the actions included training and retraining of health workers on how to prevent and control COVID-19 infection.

He added that the government has concluded the training of 594 healthcare workers from various private and public facilities in Abia State on infection prevention and control.

According to the minister, the government is currently investigating healthcare-associated infection in a health facility in Kaduna State.

He said lessons learned from the investigation would be used to improve service delivery and urged the healthcare workers not to drop their guards.

Mamora also asked them to use their Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) appropriately and judiciously.

A file photo of a health official helping his colleague with his PPE.

 

Read the full text of the minister’s remarks at the briefing below:

As of 13th August 2020, we have recorded 47,743 cases from 338,084 samples tested so far, while 33,943 persons have been treated and discharged. Sadly, 956 persons have been lost to the COVID-19 infection.

Our target remains to test 1% of our population across the country. As of today, more than 70% of all the tests conducted have been in 9 states including Lagos, Kano, FCT, Plateau, Oyo, Kaduna, Edo Ogun Rivers with 25% of the tests in Lagos alone. We shall continue to work with state governments to ramp up case findings and sample collection activities.

Yesterday, August 12th, 2020 Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s United Nations’ International Youth Day with the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions.

It was also an opportunity to take stock of the contributions of young people to national development. It was also a day to reflect on the contributions of young people to our response plan.

I wish to commend some of our youths who have supported community mobilization and risk communication through social media and community engagement.

This pandemic has had its impact on our young people. As at yesterday, 46% of positive cases in the country are young people between ages 21-40.

I will, therefore, appeal to our youths to take responsibility. Let us ensure that we adhere to the advisories to wear face masks appropriately, regularly wash your hands and ensure respiratory hygiene.

We are concerned by the resurgence of infection in healthcare workers. In a bid to sustain the gains we have made in reducing the rate of infection among our health workers, we have made training and retraining of health workers on infection prevention and control.

In Abia State, we have concluded the training of 594 Healthcare Workers from private and public health facilities on infection prevention and control.

We are currently investigating healthcare-associated infection in a health facility in Kaduna State.

Lessons learned from this will be used to improve service delivery. I encourage our health workers not to drop their guards as the pandemic is still with us.

Use your PPEs appropriately and judiciously. We have ensured that PPEs are available in all our health facilities.

Thank you for listening.

Nigeria’s Healthcare System ‘Not Perfect’, Needs Boost – Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora.

 

 

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, says the healthcare system in the country is not perfect.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise, he stated that the present situation was not one Nigeria cannot handle.

“We do have a health system that can cope but that is not to say it is perfect. We still need to do a lot of health system strengthening,” the minister said on Saturday.

READ ALSO: 11 More People Die As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 132

Mamora believes a bulk of what should be done is at the grassroots where the people can be better enlightened and educated on how to take care of themselves.

He stated, “The healthcare delivery is a pyramid and at the base of that pyramid is the primary health because that is where you can easily give information to the people.

“The bulk of our people still live in the rural area and that’s one of the areas where the primary health is supposed to serve.”

 

The minister spoke about the efforts of the Federal Government towards tackling the spread of coronavirus and Lassa fever.

He stressed the need to pay more attention to the outbreak of Lassa which has killed scores of people in the country.

 

132 Killed

Mamora said, “Ebola, coronavirus (COVID-19); these are imported [disease], not something with us. But Lassa is with us, and it’s mainly an environmental issue which we need to deal with.

“The hype, the hysteria, the fear attached to COVID-19 essentially has to do with the ease of transmission. That why it is going viral all over the world … and it is no respecter of anyone.”

On Wednesday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its latest situation report said 11 more people have died from the outbreak of Lassa fever since the beginning of the year.

The deaths were recorded in the ninth week which covered between 24 February and March 1, bringing the number of people killed to 132 in 2020.

The NCDC noted that a total of 85 new cases were confirmed in the week from Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Taraba, and Kebbi States.

It said in total, 27 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 118 Local Government Areas since the beginning of the year.

Coronavirus: Rushing To Buy Face Masks Is Totally Unnecessary, Mamora Tells Nigerians

A file photo of Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora

 

 

The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians to remain calm and not get involved in panic buying of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks and hand sanitisers among others.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, made the appeal on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He was reacting to the reports of the hike in the price of face masks and hand sanitisers among other PPE, following the first case of coronavirus recorded in the country.

Mamora said, “You see, the face mask that people are struggling to buy, I tell you it’s not very necessary where you don’t have a candidate (I won’t say a patient now) that is not manifesting symptoms – sneezing.”

“The face mask is really meant for a person who is sneezing, coughing, and wanting to protect others around him/her.

“That is what the face mask is for, and for people who are in caregiving centres. These are the people that need face masks. People should not allow themselves to be exploited unduly,” he added.

 

The Nigerian government had confirmed the first case of coronavirus on Friday, involving an Italian citizen who arrived in the country for a brief business visit on Tuesday.

The patient was said to have travelled to Ogun State where he took ill and reported at a hospital but tested negative to malaria.

He was later referred to the testing centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he tested positive to coronavirus.

 

Facts, Not Fears

Giving an update on the Italian’s condition, Mamora revealed that about 157 passengers were on the plane in which the patient travelled.

He added that the government has traced six people the Italian had contact with at the hotel where he lodged in Lagos and 34 others at Lafarge cement plant in Ogun.

“So, put together, about 100 contacts have been identified and being followed up through what we call Supervised Self Isolation,” the minister revealed.

He explained that the contacts were asked to stay at home while they were being monitored and visited by health officials to prevent further spread of the virus should they come up with any suspicious symptoms.

Mamora also urged the people to desist from panic buying of PPE and not allow themselves to be exploited by those taking advantage of the situation.

“People rushing to buy face masks is totally unnecessary. You don’t need face masks routinely to just use as people are making it seem.

“This is the kind of thing we are talking about that we need to spread facts and not fears,” he said.

Nation Building: Mrs Osinbajo Tasks Nigerian Women On Unity

OsinbajoWomen have been advised to unite irrespective of political, ethnic and religious differences in order to achieve sustainable development and the much desired change for the nation.

The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, said this at the 2015 Imo Women August Meeting which took place at the Heroes Square in Owerri the Imo State capital south east Nigeria, where she represented the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari as the Special Guest of Honour.

She said that women play a key role in the growth and development of any nation and as such, when they unite in one spirit and goal, it would bring about the needed change in the country.

The programme, with the theme ‘Imo Women; Dare To Dream’ was hosted by the wife of the Imo State Governor, Nkechinyere Rochas. It had in attendance, women and dignitaries from different parts of Imo State with various colourful attires and costumes.

The host, Mrs Nkechinyere Okorocha, commended the Vice President’s wife for honoring the occasion with her presence which she said would go a long way to boost the actualization of the theme of the programme in the lives of Imo women.

She said that the theme was chosen to encourage Imo women to dream big and aspire to become anything they wish to become no matter their foundation or background.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was also present at the event, urged all leaders across the country to give women more chance in public service as well as increase women participation in governance.

He added that the people of Imo State would continue to support the President Buhari-led federal government in a bid to deliver the full dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.

Before her departure, Mrs Osinbajo commissioned some infrastructural projects initiated and built by the wife of the Imo State Governor, Mrs Nkechinyere Okorocha.

Anti-Corruption War: Osinbajo Refutes Witch-Hunting Claims

osinbajoThe Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has dismissed the reports that the present government of President Buhari is witch-hunting the immediate past administration.

The Professor made this revelation at the funeral of the mother of former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Olorunnimbe Mamora.

Osinbajo said that the justice system in Nigeria is being reformed to make every Nigerian accountable, irrespective of class, tribe or influence.

He also said that Nigeria cannot continue to lose huge amounts to Nigerians who are corrupt, and the country remains in penury.

Professor Osinbajo insisted that the current fight against corruption is not targeted at any group, persons or administration.

According to him, “We are talking about our future. We are saying we must put in place a clear strategy going forward, not just about ensuring that people are made to pay for looting.

“Our system of justice must be fair that anybody who does anything is brought to account. We can’t allow impunity to continue, so it’s not about the previous government, it’s about any form of impunity”, he said.