All hands must be on deck to eradicate COVID-19 – Minister

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says all hands must be on deck to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and globally as no one is safe until the virus is wiped out.

The Minister, who stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, explained that because of the nature of the virus, states in the country and nations of the world should work very hard to completely eradicate the pandemic.

He said the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) had been working with relevant stakeholders to address the rising cases of COVID-19 especially the Delta variant discovered in some states.

“One thing about COVID-19 is that it has no boundary, it has no geographical boundary, it has no physical boundary and then until and unless we wipe out COVID-19, no one is safe.

“The Risk Communication Pillar of the PSC is working with the traditional rulers, religious leaders, and the media in particular and also influencers to really encourage people to take the vaccine,” he explained.

Lai Mohammed noted that with the coming of the delta variant of the virus, the Nigerian Government has held consultations with state governments on the way forward.

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“In particular, we have advised them to improve on their system, to ramp up testing especially at health facilities, to revive their case management, isolation and treatment and to also ensure that advocacy and community mobilisation are improved.

“We are appealing to Nigerians to take the opportunity of the new batch, to go and be vaccinated, they should please ignore all these rumours about the vaccine, that the vaccine has a magnetic effect or that the purpose of the vaccine is to depopulate certain part of the country.

“If these vaccines are not safe, the World Health Organisation will not approve them. They are safe, and they do save liveshe stated.

The Minister used the opportunity to commend Nigerians for responding to the appeals and calls of the government during the administration of the first batch of the vaccine.

“We are proud and glad to say that not one single dose expired, we were able to administer the vaccine to the targeted population and this new vaccine which arrived last week is about four million-plus also.

“We intend this time around to look at the general population especially those who are 18 and above,” he said.

The minister also urged those who had taken vaccines in the country to still continue to observe non-pharmaceutical interventions.

 

NAN/Nnenna.O

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