The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 being headed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has raised the alarm that irrespective of the high fatality rate to Covid-19, many Nigerians are patronising black markets to procure vaccination cards.
“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,” Boss said on Monday in Abuja, while briefing stakeholders on control measures for the pandemic.
On the global level, he said 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 case fatality ratio, which calls for great concern,” he stated.
He said based on the latest development, travellers leaving the country are encouraged to be conversant with the Travel Protocols of all Countries (origin, transit and destination).
He said this has become necessary because of comments and reports in the media that some citizens are denied boarding due to a lack of pre-departure protocol compliance. Others returning home also complained about requirements to be met. The protocols are clear and simple and they should be observed accordingly.
“The PSC has not briefed the nation for some time now but we have been working and monitoring the trends around the world so that the National Response can continue to be based on Data, Research and experience. The situation is still challenging, hence, the need to continue to strictly adhere to the non-pharmaceutical intervention measures.
“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.
“The vaccination phase is being accelerated and the NPHCDA has concluded arrangements to roll out a mass vaccination plan with effect from Friday, November 20, 2021. 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. The ED-NPHCDA will brief on this.
“The National International Travel Protocol portal has been upgraded to meet existing protocol and the demands of our travelling public. The portal is now live and running smoothly.
“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,”the SGF noted in his briefings.