The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday, confirmed a new variant of coronavirus in Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja at the briefing of the PTF, Mustapha said Nigerian scientists had been sequencing the variants of coronavirus.
“There have been reports of cases with the B117 variant strain, first reported in the UK, found in Nigeria. Three of these were in travelers out of Nigeria and one in a resident,” Mustapha said.
He said the daily statistics for Nigeria as of January 24 showed 121,566 cases, 1,270,523 tests, 22,834 active cases, 97,228 discharged and 1,504 deaths.
“All these numbers represent increases from the previous seven days and we are looking at taking further public health containment measures in local government areas that are considered high burden,” he said.
He advised all Nigerians to take responsibility and stay very safe.
He also urged parents, grandparents and everyone with underlying factors, particularly school proprietors, that all precautionary measures be taken at home and in the schools when managing the pupils and students.
He also disclosed that in view of the fact that the nation’s numbers of coronavirus cases were not abating, all extant measures prescribed in these guidelines were (subject to some modifications) extended by a period of one month with effect from today.
He cautioned Nigerians against patronising unapproved vaccines for the COVID-19 and other ailments.
Mustapha said the effort to access and deploy vaccines was progressing and as already announced by COVAX, the initial 100,000 doses Nigeria was expecting would now arrive in the early weeks of February.
“We wish to assure all Nigerians that the vaccine will be safe and effective when eventually it is deployed. We enjoin everyone to join in the campaign to eliminate vaccine hesitancy.
“â€‹I’ve to however advise all Nigerians that the only source of vaccines that is safe and effective in Nigeria is through the channels of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
“Please do not patronize any one hawking or marketing vaccines,” Mustapha said.
He also expressed concern that over the last few weeks, the PTF has been closely following the rising number of infections reported daily in Nigeria and in other jurisdictions.
The SGF added that Nigeria was currently working with the Government of Saudi Arabia on the deportation of 600 Nigerians.
He said the deportees were expected to arrive in two batches on the January 28 and 29.
“All necessary arrangements to ensure that these Nigerians are properly received are being put in place,” Mustapha said.