Deborah Onyofufeke, Abuja
Following the resurgence in Covid-19 cases in the US, UK and China, the minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that the ministry will heighten surveillance and maintain vigilance with special concentration at entry points in the country.
The minister said this at a press briefing in Abuja, noting that the action was important to take following the resurgence of the virus in these countries as they are well travelled countries by Nigerians, hence there is a high potential of having it imported from other countries.
He also added that the harmattan period which is currently being experienced in Nigeria could also be an increasing factor as it comes with upper respiratory infection.
Ehanire, encouraged Nigerians who have gotten their full Covid-19 vaccination to get their booster doses as it is assuringly one of the ways to achieve complete protection from the virus.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also made it known that persons who take their booster doses are sure of more protection than those who took only the first and second jabs.
The Director General, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed that more than 3milliin new cases and ten thousand deaths have been reported between December 26 to the 1st of January, 2023.
Adetifa added that the African Region reported a 73% and 32% decrease in new cases and deaths compared to the previous week.
He said “In Nigeria, we have had 5,708,974 samples tested, 266,463 confirmed cases, 259,850 discharged cases and unfortunately 3,155 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory”
He explained that the sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in Covid-19 cases in other countries i.e., XBB.1.5 and BF.7 had not been detected in the country as at November 2022.
Adetifa clarified that the sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in Covid-19 cases in other countries which he mentioned as XBB.1.5 and BF.7 had not been detected in Nigeria as at November 2022.
He harped on the fact that regardless of Covid-19 variants in different parts of the world, severe disease, admissions, and deaths disproportionately affect the unvaccinated and those with established risk factors i.e., older people, people with co-morbidities e.t.c.
On this note he called on Nigerians to get vaccinated against the virus, and adhere to the recommended nonpharmaceutical intervention (NPIs) such as the use of face masks, good hand and respiratory hygiene and avoidance of crowded spaces.
Executive Director of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the Agency, Dr. Abdullahi Garba said the country had vaccinated 65.6% of its target population as against the 70% target.
He noted that, as at 7th January 2023, a total of 76,105,997 persons had received the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine, while only 9,875,715 received the booster.
Faisal encouraged Nigerians to take their booster shots of the Pfizer vaccines available irrespective of the brands they had taken as their first first and second jab.
He said Nigeria currently has 28,968,045 Covid-19 vaccines doses in stock and was expecting more in the coming days.