The Federal Government has ordered air passengers from the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa to register with the Nigerian International Travel Portal.
This was disclosed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. The PTF explained that its decision was due to the new variant of the virus discovered in the countries.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, explained that the directive was effective from Monday, as they were to also fill in the health questionnaire, and mandated to upload a negative COVID-19, polymerase chain reaction, (PCR) result with a validity of not more than five days.
According to him, travelers must pay for a COVID-19 PCR test at day seven of arrival in the country without which they would not be allowed to board flights.
The PTF boss added that a special register would be opened at the airports for passengers from these two countries, specifically to track and ensure they presented themselves for the COVID-19 test on day seven.
He said, “We’ll continue to be concerned about the emergence of the new variant coronavirus in the UK and additional mutate that was described coming from South Africa.
“The system for travels in terms of ensuring the safety of our citizens and preventing the importation of cases in the country is one of the most strict. We are one of the few countries that do double testing, that have a travel portal where you can go in and enter your details including your health questionnaire and pay for a test.
“If you do not present a permit travel or you cannot present a travel permit, the airlines are being directed not to board.
“So if you are coming into Nigeria from the UK and South Africa, it is in your best interest to familiarise yourself with the Nigerian International Travel Portal and make sure that you put in your health details.”
How it works
- Upload your PCR result, which has to be negative, and you pay for a day seven test upon arrival in Nigeria.
- When you arrive, a special register will be open for all passengers arriving from these two countries.
- FG will have enhanced surveillance where these passengers will be contacted after they have arrived home. They will be checking on them to see if they are having any symptoms.
- Passengers are expected by day seven to unfailingly go for their COVID-19 PCR test, which they must have before boarding the aircraft.
What you should know
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday approved that thenceforth, particularly for those coming from the UK and South Africa, the PTF was expected to pay special attention to the flights.
- “If you do not do your day seven tests by day 10, you will automatically go into the suspension list. Your travel document – passport will be suspended for a minimum period of six months.
- “If you carry a Foreign passport with a visa, we will revoke your visa. And because it is easier to track a smaller group of persons than a larger group of passengers,” he said.
FG yet to purchase Covid-19 vaccines – Minister of State for Health
According to a disclosure made by the Minister of State for Health, the FG is yet to purchase any COVID-19 vaccine.
The Federal Government has said that it is yet to purchase any Covid-19 vaccines as the country is still assessing the prices of different shots, their availability and the logistics required for a nationwide roll-out.
This is coming at a time when developed economies are rolling out the vaccines in their countries and concerns have been raised about the availability of the Covid-19 doses in the African continent.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Health Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, during a telephone interview with Bloomberg.
What the Minister of State for Health is saying
Mamora said that once the government determines which vaccines are accessible and affordable, authorities then have to consider storage and distribution issues as they prepare to give shots to 200 million people.
He said, “We haven’t made any purchases at this point in time.’’ He added that the government expects to have a definitive plan by the end of January.
Nigeria is working with the World Health Organization backed COVAX programme and hopes to receive its first doses in January. The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the country is working on what type and quantity of Covid-19 vaccines to procure and financial provision will be made in the 2021 budget for the vaccines.
COVAX is a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization which aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, especially to poor countries.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that Bloomberg had reported that experts and a state governor had expressed doubts about the ambitious plan by Nigeria to vaccinate as much as 40% of its population this year due to lack of resources and infrastructure.
- The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said on Thursday the country expects to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer Inc’s shot at the end of January through the Covax initiative.
- Nigeria has officially reported 107,345 Covid-19 cases, with 1,413 casualties, but testing is not easily accessible for most people, with only about 1.1 million tests conducted so far.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
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 108,943 confirmed cases.
On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 108,943 cases have been confirmed, 85,367 cases have been discharged and 1,420 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 16th, 2021 compared to 1.03 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 16th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 108,943
- Total Number Discharged – 85,367
- Total Deaths – 1,420
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,135,535
According to the NCDC, the 1,598 new cases were reported from 24 states- Lagos (461), FCT (206), Plateau (197), Rivers (168), Kaduna (116), Anambra (53), Ogun (49), Ebonyi (47), Edo (42), Sokoto (32), Imo (31), Katsina (31), Oyo (30), Akwa Ibom (27), Delta (16), Kano (16), Abia (15), Niger (15), Ondo (11), Bayelsa (10), Borno (9), Kebbi (8), Ekiti (7), Jigawa (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 39,723, followed by Abuja (14,544), Plateau (6,617), Kaduna (6,121), Oyo (4,679), Rivers (4,382), Edo (3,246), Ogun (2,831), Kano (2,577), Delta (2,102), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,269), Ebonyi (1,206), Osun (1,186), Abia (1,129), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 859 cases, Imo (841), Sokoto (677), Benue (653), Akwa Ibom (615), Bayelsa (608), Niger (547), Adamawa (540), Anambra (513), Ekiti (466), Jigawa (425), Taraba (258), Kebbi (248), Yobe (207), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
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.
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.
Combined Vaccine Manufacturing capacity to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
Meristem Group disclosed that the combined effort in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for global use is expected to yield about 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
This was revealed in the Annual Outlook 2021 report presented by Meristem Group, titled “Bracing for a different future.”
According to the report, the existing manufacturing capacity will only be sufficient enough to immunize about 44% of the global population, which would create obvious vaccination gap and make the pandemic last longer than necessary.
The report states,
- “The cold temperature requirements for vaccine storage pose major logistics concern particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. WHO estimates that about 50% of vaccines are wasted every year, largely due to a lack of temperature control.”
According to the report, the estimated 6.8billion doses are expected to be collaboratively manufactured as follows: CanSino – 0.2billion, AstraZeneca – 3.0 billion, Gamaleya – 0.3billion, Moderna – 0.4billion, Pfizer-BioNtech – 1.3billion, SinoPharm – 1billion, and SinoVac – 0.6billion.
What you should know
- The global population as of 2020 is 7.8billion and 70% is required to achieve herd immunity (otherwise called herd protection)
- Herd Immunity or herd protection is achieved when you have most of the population immunized against an infectious disease.
- 2 doses of the vaccines are required for each person for immunity.
- It is expected that between 11 and 15 billion doses would be required to achieve the desired herd immunity, globally.
- From all indications, herd immunity may not be achieved until mid or late 2022, with the subsisting 100% vaccine production capacity utilization in 2021 – with neither production nor distribution losses.
- To achieve regulatory approval, a vaccine must undergo a three-stage clinical development process after the exploratory and pre-clinical stages and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets a phase 3 efficacy benchmark of 50%.