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FG plans to end COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 – Mustapha

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

The Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha, has disclosed that the FG had proposed 2022 as year to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This was made known in a statement by the PSC on Monday.

Mustapha, who lamented the high fatality that has been recorded, announced plans by the government to convene a national summit next month in line with its vision to achieve the goal.

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Since the first case recorded in Nigeria in 2020, Nigeria has reportedly lost nearly 3,000 people to the pandemic.

According to the chairman, vaccine hesitancy and late presentation of cases amongst others factors contributed to the high fatality ratio.

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He said: “The PSC is approaching the end of its nine months mandate by the end of December 2021. To effectively capture the core elements of our national response, a National Summit to end COVID-19 in 2022 and to strengthen Global Health Security is being planned to hold in Abuja from 6 – 8 December 2021.

“It is imperative that all hands must be on deck if we must lay a solid foundation for a sustainable response to COVID which will be with us for quite some time, and continue to push to minimize the impact on health and economic sectors.

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“We are currently seeing some surges in cases in some countries in Europe (especially eastern Europe) due to under vaccination. In other territories where massive vaccinations have occurred, the infections are rising. What we see in Nigeria right now is that there is an increase in the case fatality ratio, which calls for great concern.

“In our last briefing, we announced the Vaccine Mandate for 1st December 2021. I will like to state that this is in the best interest of Nigeria looking at what is happening globally. We are gearing up to further engage with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to push through the mass vaccination programme and mandate for our citizens.

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“We have received intelligence and even detected that some unscrupulous citizens are procuring vaccination cards through the black market. Let me assure everyone that the vaccination records/certificates will be verified and this should serve as a warning to those criminally minded persons to desist because they will be prosecuted accordingly.

“The PSC wishes to assure Nigerians that the NPHCDA has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50% of the target population by the end of January 2022. Efforts are also ongoing to bring on board the booster dose so as to build a healthy level of anti-bodies.”

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Also commenting on the development, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, estimated that Nigeria has so far tested a total of 3,392,457 samples, of which 213,147 were confirmed positive for COVID-19, while active cases are 4,447 and cases discharged to date are 205,732.

He said: “There have sadly been 2,968 COVID-related fatalities with a case fatality rate of 1.39%.

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“There are therefore still surprises coming up with the novel Coronavirus, as it evolves. Nigeria is preparing along all established avenues, including participating in research and development. Several Nigerian groups are engaged in genomic sequencing and few in vaccine development, while NIPRID is working on phytomedicines research.

“Nigeria’s vaccine manufacturing aspirations are on track. We are working with the Private sector and have the full support of influential, Nigerians outside the country.”

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In addition, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, stated that Nigeria till date has lost nearly three thousand people to the pandemic.

“Thankfully, majority of these cases, 205,000 were not sick or made a full recovery. Unfortunately, we have lost 2,960 Nigerians – parents, siblings, close relatives, colleagues, neighbours to this disease.”

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