Friday Olokor and Leke Baiyewu
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, has said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; and other prominent Nigerians will be among the first set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on live television to help drive awareness.
He said at the weekly press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, “On Tuesday, I mentioned that we will like to see a situation where Mr President, the Vice President, the SGF, critical leaders come and take the vaccine in full glare of the public to demonstrate that this vaccine is safe.
“So, we have to make provisions for those. But even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritisation of health workers, you have to also identify critical leaders that you don’t want them to be wiped off by the virus.”
Shuaib said experience had shown that vaccines are always better than health immunity.
He said for COVID-19, it would take approximately 10 years for one to be able to achieve health immunity and many people would have died if health immunity is to be relied upon.
The PTF said it was in talks with the National Identity Management Commission on observation of safety protocols at its registration centres across the country.
It stated that all ministries, departments and agencies of government, as well as their chief executives, must comply with the protocols established by the task force in carrying out official activities.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, stated this while answering a question on the NIMC’s crowded centres, occasioned by the rush to meet the deadline for mobile telecoms subscribers to link their National Identity Number with their Subscriber Identification Module or risk disconnection
Aliyu said, “With regard to mass greetings, whether you are a government entity or private sector, all protocol applies across the board. We have been liaising very closely with NIMC; in fact, my phone is probably on fast dial as far as the NIMC DG is concerned.”
According to the PTF coordinator, the challenge the NIMC is having is with the crowds that are outside its premises.
“That challenge definitely needs to be addressed and we have been working with them,” he stated.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the national coordinator noted that compliance with the safety measures is “for our own interest.”
‘Nigerian international travellers faking results’
The SGF and Chairman, PTF, Boss Mustapha, raised the alarm that some Nigerian international travellers have continued to present fake results when travelling outside the country.
He also announced that the President had approved the establishment of at least one new Oxygen plant in each state of the federation, while the existing ones would be made fully functional.