Monday, March 22, 2021 6:14 pm
By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said it received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria.
Speaking at the National briefing, the Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said: “Yesterday, Sunday, March 21, 2021, the PTF received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria.
“This is acknowledged with thanks as we encourage other partners to contribute towards the fight against COVID-19.”
Recall that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had said that the first part of the 1.4 million doses promised to be donated to Nigeria would be delivered by end of February, while the remaining balance would be delivered by end of March, 2021.
Mustapha also said: “The disclosure that Nigerian Scientists have produced at least two local COVID-19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant.
“This is a welcome development that will open a new vista in scientific breakthrough and will boost the morale and image of the medical industry in the country.
“I call on all relevant agencies to provide the required support and enabling environment for smooth conduct of the remaining protocols for the certification of these vaccines with a view to encouraging and motivating other researchers.”
While calling for continued caution as Nigeria tackle COVID-19, Mustapha said: “Yesterday again, Nigeria recorded the lowest number of cases so far this year. We have also seen a decline in cases in the high burden countries around the African region.
“This does not call for us to lower our guards as the virus is still potent and virulent. This is the right time to adhere to the full compliance of the NPIs and be vaccinated.
“Although, situations around the world now show some increase in cases, especially in the Americas, Europe and East Mediterranean regions, which suggests that they could be a third wave, further affirms that non-compliance with COVID-19 regulations and growing evidence of vaccine hesitancy could endanger millions of lives.”
Speaking on the banning of Emirates airlines, the PTF boss said: “The PTF had informed you in the past few weeks on the discussions on the KLM and Emirates airlines services in Nigeria.
” Today, I will like to inform you that KLM has commenced full operations in and out of Nigeria since March 15, 2021 while operations of the Emirates in and out of the Country has been suspended with exemption of Cargo and Humanitarian flights.
“In the course of the week, a new travel and Quarantine protocols will be unveiled to incorporate persons vaccinated against this virus and make travels safe for international passengers.
“Efforts are being put in place for the reopening of the Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu international airports.”