The Federal Government will inaugurate an 18-man national COVID-19 task force next week to ensure vaccine safety, even as it welcomes advances in the scientific community announcing a COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said the committee will have a benchmark of 7 which will include generating strategies for the acquisition, implementation and options for licensed production from Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd.
“ Now that it is known that vaccines are close, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures for the safety of vaccines, for which a National Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines of 18 men with seven Terms will be inaugurated this week. Reference (ToR). ‘declared the minister on Monday.
“The TORs will include the generation of strategies for the acquisition, deployment and options for licensed production from Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd. Our options with the WHO / GAVI-led Covax facilities remain our first line of commitment,” he said. Ehanire.
The Minister further reported that the “strange deaths in Delta, Enugu, Ebonyi, Benue, Bauchi and Kogi, turned out to be an outbreak of yellow fever, as confirmed by the NCDC which is responding with Rapid Response Teams to the outbreak.”
He said that of 586 suspected cases, 40 were confirmed in laboratory tests, with 10 deaths last week.
According to him, as of Monday, November 23, Nigeria had registered 66,383 COVID-19 cases out of 743,298 samples analyzed so far, with 62,076 people successfully treated and discharged.
He added that unfortunately the nation registered 1,167 deaths with a fatality rate of 1.76%.
The minister said that eight states account for 72% of confirmed cases because they are constantly testing and reporting.
“Of the 1,235 confirmed cases reported in 22 states last week, Kaduna, Lagos, FCT, Oyo, Plateau and Ogun accounted for more than 84%.
So we are not yet where we want to be with our test index. We will continue to engage states to strengthen active case finding and testing, as we are committed to reducing the fatality rate to less than 1%, to save more lives from COVID-19.
“We are by no means out of the woods and we must not become complacent. Citizens with symptoms suggestive of COVID or those who had contact with confirmed COVID patients should come forward for testing and, if they test positive, they should follow the instructions for treatment, ” Ehanire said.