FG dismisses lockdown rumours, says 10m doses of vaccine to arrive soon | International Centre for Investigative Reporting

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THE federal government, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has dismissed the rumour of an imminent lockdown in the country, classifying it as fake news.

The PTF national coordinator, in a video statement on Thursday, said it was ‘absolutely not true’ that the federal government had declared a lockdown in the country as peddled on WhatsApp groups.

Aliyu asked Nigerians to ignore the messages on the social media regarding another lockdown, stressing that the country was expecting 10 million doses of vaccine, in addition to 100,000 arriving at the end of January.

He urged Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, encouraging citizens to wear their face masks, wash their hands regularly and observe social distancing.

On his part, minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, reiterated that Nigeria was expecting 10 million doses of COVID-19 viral vector vaccine. He said the Ministry of Health in affiliation with other stakeholders had put mechanisms in place for the vaccines management, stressing that the government was expecting more research done on the prophylactic use of Invermectin for COVID-19 treatment.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while also speaking virtually, noted that this was the time to improve health infrastructure in the country, pointing out that Nigeria was at the point where it would benefit from the pandemic.

“A lot of what has been said will really help in putting this in perspective for us as a government so that we can resolve any of these problems and improve the environment for ourselves and for the coming generations in particular,” Osinbajo noted.

“It is evident that our experts, whether directly engaged or not, are also paying attention not just to an unfolding health problem but also the very many opportunities that this problem provides for us—opportunities to ramp up our public health capacities in various ways,” Osinbajo further said.

He acknowledged that Nigeria should be talking about local vaccine production now, improving the training of laboratory scientists and the the capacity to respond to emergencies such as the pandemic.

“We must focus on the opportunities that this period really gives us. I have noticed that unless something like this happens, we are often relaxed and hope for the best. I think we are in a position now where we can do a lot,” the vice president said.

He said the pandemic had provided another opportunity to prepare young people for the challenges ahead, while improving the quality of personnel.

Nigeria recorded 1,479 COVID-19 cases on January 14 with 23 deaths, which is a record mortality number.



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