By Asmau Ahmad
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that Nigeria is to receive 40 million doses of Moderna vaccines by the end of 2021.
The minister, who stated this at the national briefing of Presidential Steering Committee On COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, added that vaccinations shall soon begin with the arrival on Sunday of 4,000,080 doses of Moderna vaccines in the country.
“I want to thank the United States Government. The vaccines are undergoing the necessary validation by NAFDAC.
“Nigeria would have received over 40 million doses of vaccines by the end of the year. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), shall commence distribution to states as soon as NAFDAC certifies them fit for use in Nigeria.”
He also expressed concern over rising cases of COVID-19 cases in the third wave across the world.
“Like in many parts of Africa, Nigeria has been experiencing sharp increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the month of July, as global anxiety over the Delta variant spreads.
“All data indicate that we are now in no doubt in the third wave of resurgence of the SARS-COV-2 infection, which we saw coming long ago.
“As at today, Nigeria has recorded a total of 174,315 COVID-19 cases from 2,542,261 samples tested, with 7,151 active cases, and sadly, 2,149 deaths in all.
“I wish to use this opportunity to again solicit more participation of our states in the roles they are to play at this very trying time, in sample collection, preparing isolation and treatment centers.
“As well as providing logistics for the movement of commodities and patients and reporting to the various COVID-19 pillars. Only 17 States made data or sample submissions in the last cycle, where Lagos and Akwa Ibom States were the epicenters.
“Of particular concern is that the delta variant spreads more rapidly and has become predominant in many countries, being 93 per cent of COVID variants in the UK.
“I, therefore, renew my call to all Nigerians to improve on observance of public health measures and non-pharmaceutic interventions, because they are the best protection we have till date, to prevent the spread of the variants.
“We are considering strategies to scale up testing and identify positive cases for isolation and treatment. If you feel unwell, please report to the nearest testing center to get the COVID-19 test.
“Less than 10 per cent of beds in treatment centres are occupied and oxygen supply is assured, as we continue to build up oxygen capacity.
“Nevertheless, all treatment centres have been put on alert to receive cases, especially in the face of the threat of the third wave, as we continue to train community volunteers and intensive care experts, to support our response.
“To strengthen our home-based care among those who are COVID-19 positive, but showing mild or no symptoms, we have developed a training manual for Home-Based Isolation & Care, which includes Mental Health & Psychosocial Support. The manual can also be useful for those in quarantine.”
Speaking on the strike by health workers, the minister said, “the Federal Ministry of Health is engaging resident doctors, who have embarked on industrial action with a view to quickly resolving the issues.
“While this is ongoing, medical directors at Federal and State hospitals are directed to ensure that service delivery is not disrupted in their centres.”