By Abujah Racheal
Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Monday disclosed that Nigeria had recorded a total of 13 of the B117 variant of COVID-19.
At a briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, Mustapha, also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said: “A total of 13 B117 variant had so far been detected in Nigeria.”
He said that six of them were detected in the last one week, adding that all of them came out of samples collected from November to January.
“The PTF, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, is working with the Africa Centre for Disease Control on genomic surveillance,” he said.
On COVID-19 treatment, particularly on availability of oxygen, he said: “The PTF wishes to report that shortage of oxygen for case management is gradually being overcome.
“The private sector (Coalition Again COVID-19 (CACOVID) is supporting provision of oxygen nationwide, and allocations have been made to states.”
Mustapha frowned at violation of COVID-19 prevention protocols.
He urged passengers arriving in Nigeria to ensure compliance with international travel protocols and observe non-pharmaceutical intervention measures.
Mustapha said: “The process for accessing vaccine and plans for getting it to the last mile is progressing.
“The PTF wishes to appeal to all Nigerians, particularly the media, to recognise that humanity is at war with an unseen enemy.
“Nations are also struggling to take positions to access the same commodity which is in obvious short supply.
“We must, therefore, play our critical complementary roles of educating the public on the benefits of the vaccines in overcoming the pandemic.”
He said that testing for COVID-19 was still being aggressively pursued as a viable strategy.
“The PTF shall continue to appeal to not just the citizens to get tested, but call on sub-national entities to ensure that capacities of laboratories that have been established within their jurisdictions be fully maximised.
“This will help to reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory and the attendant lengthy turnaround time for test results,” he said. (NAN)