COVID-19: No one is free until are Nigerians receive vaccine

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha,  has said that COVID-19 vaccines are important for the safety of Nigerians.

During a sensitisation meeting with leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mustapha said nobody is safe from being infected with COVID-19 until everyone is vaccinated.

Mustapha, who is the chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19, urged religious bodies to enlighten their members on the benefits and efficacy of vaccines against the pandemic.

He said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant global public health emergency of our generation.

“Humanity has been under the siege of this virus since 30th of January, 2020 (exactly one year ago) when the WHO declared it as such. It has taken lives, consumed trillions of dollars and other resources without abating. Today, global infections have exceeded one hundred million while fatalities have also crossed the two million mark.

“As a nation, our national response has been very robust with significant positive results because we deployed non-pharmaceutical interventions, testing, detection and treatment as a strategy. For risk communication, the PTF mounted its outreach using several channels including the faith based organisations such as the CAN.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria, like the rest of the world, is now experiencing a more virulent second wave which has increased the number of COVID-19 related deaths from 1173 on November 29 2020 to 1,578 on January 31, 2021. An increase of 34 per cent.

“The arrival of vaccines has however given hope to humanity that a solution had been found. This does not however mean that the NPIs would be discarded. Going forward it shall be NPIs + vaccines for everyone to completely get over the pandemic.

“I wish to make it abundantly clear that nobody is safe around the world until everyone is vaccinated. That is why we are now gathered here today, to sensitise you and seek your inputs on the strategy to be jointly adopted and the role you will play in carrying the message on vaccines to all adherents of the Christian faith.

“As we interact over all these issues and challenges today, I urge us to be frank, innovative and adopt common objectives of collaboration and determination to overcome the pandemic by reaching out to all adherents of our faith on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Every Christian should be an advocate for the vaccines.”

Earlier, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced 685 new cases of the COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 131,242.

The number of cases recorded on Sunday is the least the NCDC has reported in the past four weeks after confirming 576 cases on Jan. 2, 2021.

The latest update takes the country’s infection tally to 131,242, the sixth-highest in Africa behind Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa.

The agency also announced eight coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s number of deaths to 1, 586.

Pix: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha,