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Nigeria records first cases of UK COVID-19 variants

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Nigeria has recorded first cases of COVID-19 variant that was first reported in the United Kingdom.

The chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 and secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure at the briefing of the PTF, saying that in the last few weeks, the PTF had been closely following the rising number of infections reported daily in Nigeria.

He said, “Similarly, our Scientists have been sequencing the variants of the virus. 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.”

He also stated that “the daily statistics for Nigeria as at January 24, 2020, showed that cases were 121,566; total tests so far were 1,270,523; active cases were 22,834, amounting to 19.4 per cent; discharged patients were 97,228 and deaths stood at 1,504.

“Also, over seven days ending Jan. 23, the statistics showed that tests conducted were 58,974 while cases recorded were 11,179, with a positivity of 19.0 per cent.

“62 deaths were recorded, with case fatality ratio of 0.6 per cent; active cases stood at 23,568 at 19.4 per cent.

“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 explained.

On vaccines, he said the expected 100,000 doses will arrive in Nigeria early February, 2021.

He stated, “The effort to access and deploy vaccines is progressing and as already announced by COVAX, the initial 100,000 doses Nigeria is expecting will now arrive in the early weeks of February.

“We wish to assure all Nigerians that the vaccines will be safe and effective when eventually it is deployed. We enjoin everyone to join in the campaign to eliminate vaccine hesitancy.

“I have 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 (NPHCDA). Please do not patronise anyone hawking or marketing vaccines.”

On the activities of the PTF in managing COVID-19, the PTF chairman said, “The management of cases is gradually improving with the availability of medical oxygen. Government is also fast-tracking the rehabilitation of existing plants and construction of new ones as approved by the president”.

NAN

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