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Covid-19 Testing: FG to suspend passports of 100 Nigerians for noncompliance

100 Nigerians will have their passports suspended for flouting obligation to test within 7 days of arrival in Nigeria from overseas travel.

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The Federal Government has announced it will suspend the passports of 100 Nigerians for 6 months and also publish their passport numbers for “flouting obligation to test within 7 days of arrival in Nigeria from overseas travel.”

This was disclosed by a media aide of the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi, after the daily Covid-19 Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

READ: Covid-19: Nigeria considers international travel ban as new strain gains momentum

  • “Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says it’ll, this weekend, publish a list of 100 Nigerian Passport Nos that will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months for flouting obligation to test within 7 days of arrival in Nigeria from overseas travel,” Ogunlesi tweeted.

READ: Nigerian scientists announce development of cheaper, faster COVID-19 test kits

He added that the PTF had contacted 100 people who revealed that they failed to do a test after arrival.

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  • “PTF says the 100 affected persons (this is only Phase 1, more coming) have been contacted and have confirmed that they failed to do the post-arrival test. Only passport numbers will be published, PTF says, not names. Nigerian Passports will be suspended for 6 months. PTF says penalties will also apply to persons caught presenting fake negative PCR Tests for travel. Apparently it’s a thing – Nigerians cooking up fake negative results and uploading them to the Travel Portal and/or presenting them to airlines,” Ogunlesi said.

READ: Travellers to United Arab Emirates must have return ticket, negative COVID-19 test results- FG

What you should know 

The order to suspend the passports of Nigerians who disobey testing procedures was first issued as a warning by the FG in September.

  • “If you do not have a test by day 14th regardless whether you have paid or not, we have a system for identifying cases with Nigerian passports and restrictions will be placed on those passports for six months period,” PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, had warned.
  • “For those that are non-Nigerians that have not had the PCR test done between the 7th and 14th days and on their way out of the country, we will revoke their visas,” he added.

READ: Covid-19: FG advises states to shut down bars, night clubs, event centres, others for 5 weeks.

Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021 due to a surge in the number of cases.

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Coronavirus

No talks of a second lockdown – FG

FG has stated that contrary to what is being rumoured on social media, there is no consideration of a second lockdown.

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FG approves reopening of NYSC camps, extends tenure of PTF on COVID-19, FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks, COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries, FG inaugurates 16 members to PENCOM board

The Federal Government has said that Nigeria is not contemplating another lockdown and urged Nigerians to ignore social media posts circulating the possibility of another lockdown.

This was disclosed by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in a series of social media posts on Thursday evening.

READ: President Buhari condemns the killing of farmers by terrorists in Borno State

  • “The attention of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 has been drawn to some mis-information circulating on the social media to the effect that the Federal Government is contemplating another lockdown this weekend.
  • ” The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 wishes to state categorically that there is no such consideration at any of its meetings nor has any recommendation been made to this effect to the President.”

READ: FG borrows N2.8 trillion from CBN via Ways and Means

The PTF said such announcements are unpatriotic and could cause unnecessary panic and anxiety among the populace and urged Nigerians to disregard the misinformation and join hands with the FG to contain the spread of the virus in the country by adhering to Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI’s) as recommended by the PTF.

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READ: Haulage cost increases by more than 50% in a week as Apapa gridlock bites harder

What you should know

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed in October 2020 that the Nigerian economy is too fragile to go into another lockdown, as the second wave of coronavirus has already forced some European countries – Germany and France, to enter another phase of lockdown.
  • Nigeria surpassed the 100,000 mark for COVID-19 cases on Sunday 10th January 2021, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 14th of January 2021, 1,479 new confirmed cases and 23 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 105,478 confirmed cases.

On the 14th of January 2021, 1,479 new confirmed cases and 23 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 105,478 cases have been confirmed, 83,830 cases have been discharged and 1,405 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.13 million tests have been carried out as of January 14th, 2021 compared to 1.03 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 14th January 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 105,478
  • Total Number Discharged – 83,830
  • Total Deaths – 1,405
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,135,535

According to the NCDC, the 1,479 new cases were reported from 25 states- Lagos (697), FCT (201), Nasarawa (80), Plateau (74), Rivers (62), Edo (46), Adamawa (43), Osun (39), Akwa Ibom (35), Delta (31), Anambra (27), Oyo (24), Kano (21), Abia (19), Enugu (19), Ogun (18), Sokoto (12), Bauchi (7), Taraba (7), Ekiti (4), Gombe (4), Imo (4), Bayelsa (2), Jigawa (2), and Zamfara (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 38,549, followed by Abuja (14,139), Plateau (6,147), Kaduna (5,888),  Oyo (4,570), Rivers (4,186), Edo (3,189), Ogun (2,745), Kano (2,512), Delta (2,062), Ondo (2,006), Katsina (1,692), Kwara (1,566), Enugu (1,525), Gombe (1,471), Nasarawa (1,233), Ebonyi (1,159), Osun (1,149), Abia (1,114), and Bauchi (1,107).

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Borno State has recorded 844 cases, Imo (810), Benue (629), Sokoto (602), Bayelsa (588), Akwa Ibom (588), Adamawa (540), Niger (508), Anambra (460), Ekiti (450), Jigawa (423), Taraba (246), Kebbi (240), Yobe (207), Cross River (169),  Zamfara (160), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

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On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Coronavirus

African Union secures 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from drugmakers

The AU has secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

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Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly, Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

The African Union has secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers to supplement the COVAX programme, a step towards the commencement of the complex task of vaccinating over 1.2 billion people with limited financial resources.

Drugmakers Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will provide the vaccines, of which 50 million doses will be made available for the crucial period, between April and June 2021.

This disclosure was made through a statement by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairman of the African Union, on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa said that arrangements had been made with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to provide support to member states who want to have access to the vaccines.

Upon receipt of firm orders from member states, Afreximbank is expected to provide advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2 billion to the manufacturers.

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Going further, the South African President said, “There is also close collaboration between the AU team and the World Bank to ensure that member states are able to access about $5 billion either to buy more vaccines or pay for the delivery of vaccines committed on their behalf by Afreximbank.

“These endeavours aim to supplement the COVAX efforts, and to ensure that as many dosages of the vaccine as possible become available throughout Africa as soon as possible.

He pointed out that although the World Health Organization co-led COVAX initiative was very crucial to Africa’s response to the pandemic, the Africa Union was concerned that the COVAX volumes to be released between February and June would be inadequate and may not go beyond catering for the needs of frontline health care workers.

What you should know

  • While several wealthy economies around the world pre-ordered vaccines ahead of regulatory approval and have now started rollouts, concerns have been raised that Africa, which has recorded at least 3.1 million infections and about 74,600 deaths over the course of the pandemic, would be left behind.
  • This happens to be a fraction of the global figure of more than 91 million cases, although it is believed that some of the figures might be distorted due to less reliable reporting methods.

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