Mr. Boss Mustapha, President of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, gave advice at a public meeting on COVID-19 vaccination for the northeast area in Yola,
The meeting was organized by the PSC in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Mustapha, who was represented by Environment Minister Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, said Nigeria has a responsibility to protect the health of its people and block any chance of COVID-19 spreading in the country.
“Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid non-essential international travel at this time, especially in countries that are showing an increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19.
“Therefore, anyone who has visited Brazil, India and Turkey in the 14 days prior to their trip to Nigeria will be refused entry to Nigeria.
“Among other travel guidelines, individuals, carriers and airlines who abuse the guidelines will be penalized,” Mustapha said.
He explained that the CPS was monitoring with keen interest the increase in COVID-19 cases abroad.
“The federal government deeply sympathizes with the government and citizens of these countries and has assured them of unwavering support and solidarity.
“All governors are also urged to ensure that all international passengers repatriated to their respective states strictly adhere to the mandatory seven-day isolation period,” he said.
The PSC chair said the cardinal goal of the meeting was to provide the government, communities and other relevant stakeholders with the means to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
SGF noted that available records show that the daily COVID-19 incident in the country has declined.
Also speaking, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the greatest threat to the health of the current generation.
Ehanire has revealed that the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s health, economic and social services has been so global that it calls on all hands to step up to the plate to focus on solutions to the disease.
“Today’s meeting is the second in a series of interactions with city halls across the country to provide an opportunity to rub elders’ minds and come up with a messaging strategy for the citizen engagement in ongoing vaccination to protect Nigerians from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 in February 2020, the federal government has put in place measures to protect lives and mitigate the devastating impact of community transmission,” Ehanire said.
He revealed that Nigeria has lost more than 2,000 lives and its GDP has fallen 23% due to the slowdown in global economic activity due to COVID-19.
Also speaking, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, Executive Director of NPHCDA, said the town hall is organized to share mutual concerns, reach consensus and shoulder its responsibilities in the ongoing efforts to protect citizens from the pandemic.
“This public meeting is in accordance with the principles of proactive community engagement, transparency and accountability of the CPS, under the able leadership of Mr. Boss Mustapha, the secretary of the government of the Federation.
“Our gathering here today is grounded in our fundamentals and our belief that it is not enough to just provide Nigerians with vaccines.
“But that we also need to give people the correct information they need to make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination,” Shuaibu said.
Shuaibu said Nigeria received a shipment of nearly four million doses of the Oxford / Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
He said the agency across the country provided the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 1,966,548 Nigerians, which is about 98% of those targeted in the first wave of the vaccination exercise.
“We have started providing second doses. People currently eligible for a second dose will have received their first dose six to 12 weeks earlier, ” said Shuaibu.
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