UK COVID-19 strain now in Nigeria —PTF

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says cases of B117 strain of COVID-19 have been recorded in Nigeria.

The strain was first reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Chairman of PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, made this known during the task force briefing on Monday.

Mustapha said four persons had been diagnosed with the B117 strain in Nigeria. Of the four persons, three are travellers from Nigeria to other places while the fourth person was discovered in-country.

“Over the last few weeks, the PTF has been closely following the rising number of infections reported daily in Nigeria and in other jurisdictions. Similarly, our scientists have been sequencing the variants of the virus.

“There have been reports of cases with the B117 variant strain, first reported in the UK, found in Nigeria. Three of these were in travellers out of Nigeria and one a resident,” he said.

Mustapha appealed to Nigerians and school proprietors to take all precautionary measures against COVID-19.

He said in the last seven days 58,974 tests have been conducted, 11,179 cases recorded, 19.0 per cent tested positive, 62 deaths recorded, case fatality ratio starts at 0.6 per cent, and there are 23,568 active cases.

Mustapha said, “All these numbers represent increases from the previous seven days and we are looking at taking further public health containment measures in Local Government Areas that are considered a high burden

‘The PTF, therefore, wishes to appeal strongly to all Nigerians to take responsibility and stay very safe. In this regard, I also wish to remind all parents, grandparents, everyone with underlying factors and particularly school proprietors that all precautionary measures must be taken at home and in the schools when managing the pupils and students. The PTF will continue to work with the Federal Ministry of Education around the reopening of schools

“The management of cases is gradually improving with the availability of medical oxygen. Government is also fast-tracking the rehabilitation of existing plants and construction of new ones as approved by the President.

“The PTF has advanced in the deployment of resources for the national testing week and continues to review the bottlenecks affecting the turn around time for testing.

“The effort to access and deploy vaccines is progressing and as already announced by COVAX, the initial 100,000 doses Nigeria is expecting will now arrive in the early weeks of February.

“We wish to assure all Nigerians that the vaccines will be safe and effective when eventually it is deployed. We enjoin everyone to join in the campaign to eliminate vaccine hesitancy.”


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