Nigeria: Covid-19 - Nigeria Cannot Afford a Third Wave, Federal Govt Warns

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has warned that Nigeria cannot afford a third wave of coronavirus and will do everything to protect its territory.

Speaking at the national briefing of the PSC, the chairman and secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, said: "In the next couple of weeks, the PSC will focus on three major things, increase testing especially in the States; increase Oxygen reserve capacity in case there is a third wave and increase Vaccine acquisition drive."

On the travel ban against Emirates Airlines, the SGF said: "For some times now, Nigeria has been discussing with the authorities of the United Arab Emirates on the resumption of flights between the two countries.

"The PSC will urge the United Arabs Emirates to remove the country specific and discriminatory practices against Nigeria. Discussions are however on-going and we can assure Nigerians that the outcome will be in the interest of the country."

The SGF, while speaking on the ban of some Nigerians, who violated COVID-19 travel protocol, said: "Nigerians must eschew sentiments by ensuring that friends, relations and associates arriving from countries of concern and indeed all countries obey the quarantine and post arrival protocols. It is our duty to make sure this occurs.

"Pursuant to the travel advisory issued, I wish to inform you that the PSC has initiated series of sanctions against those that have violated the 2021 Health Safety Regulations. To this end, the PSC has published the names and particulars of over two hundred violators that evaded the quarantine requirement. This is considered a serious infraction and the PSC will proceed to do the following:

deactivate the passports of Nigerians involved, for a period of not less than one year; revoke the visas of foreigners that have abused our hospitality; and prosecute the violators where necessary.

"Nigeria will continue to monitor the unfolding events and will deal with them as applicable."

Meanwhile, the PSC members took their second jab of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

The PSC chairman, while speaking before being administered the jab, said: "Some 12 weeks ago, the NPHCDA commenced the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the nation with about two million persons vaccinated so far. We have since then intensified the creation of awareness to achieve a reduction of vaccine hesitancy and encourage all eligible persons to come out and take their second dose.

"Over the weekend, His Excellencies, the President and the Vice President received their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Today, members of the PSC will receive their second dose during this briefing. This transparency is to underscore the safety of the vaccine."

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