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FG considers lockdown in Abuja, Lagos, others as COVID-19 cases surpass 127,000

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THE federal government says any other COVID-19 lockdown would be in Abuja, Lagos and other urban cities across the country.

Mukhtar Muhammad, national incident manager of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this when he appeared on Channels Tv programme, Sunrise Daily on Friday.

According to Muhammad, an analysis of the COVID-19 cases has shown that a bulk of the infections are arising from major cities in the FCT, Lagos, Plateau and Kaduna states.

“Certainly, even if we are going to have a lockdown, it is not going to be a total lockdown. A couple of weeks back, we analysed the data and we identified the hotspot local government areas.

“Mostly, the areas affected are the urban local governments in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Plateau. Even in most other states, it is the urban areas that are involved. So, if we are going to have any restrictions, it will be in these areas,” Muhammad said.

As at the time of filing this report, the aforementioned states hold the highest number of cases in Nigeria.

Lagos state has recorded a total of 46,935 cases, FCT; 16,341, Plateau state; 7,740 while Kaduna state has recorded 7,458 cases.

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The ICIR had reported how COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Nigeria since the second wave of the pandemic hit the most populated African country.

Visit the ICIR COVID-19 portal

Nigeria has recorded a total of 127,560 positive cases out of 1,270,523 tested samples with 1,550 deaths related to COVID-19.

Out of the total 127,560 positive cases, 101,511 have recovered, only 24,499 are active cases.

The Chase for COVID-19 Vaccines

Despite the success in the recovery rate of COVID-19 cases, the Nigerian government is in what some have described as ‘hot chase’ to purchase the vaccine to the pandemic.

On Thursday, 28th January, Osagie Ehanire, the Nigeria Minister of Health said the government has secured additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Nigeria COVID-19 lockdown
COVID-19 vaccine

Ehanire stated that the additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be obtained through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), a vaccine strategy organised by the African Union.

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“A mechanism for the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), of which the minister of health of Nigeria is a member, and the chair is the president of South Africa, was inaugurated in November 2020.

“At the meeting, we had on the 6th of January, it was announced that they had a mix of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines going to be ready because they are on order.

“Now, we immediately applied for 10 million doses, but at the meeting, we had two days ago, the AVATT team announced that they actually had now done allocation according to population.

Due to Nigeria’s large population estimated to be over 200 million, Ehanire said ‘Nigeria is allocated 41 million doses of vaccines of three types’.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates, American philanthropist had advised the Nigerian government to prioritise fixing its public health care system rather than expending its health budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.

Gates said this during a virtual press conference on Tuesday ahead of the launch of the 2021 Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letters.

“I’m an advocate for the government to have more resources and prioritise health. Obviously, I’m not a voter in Nigeria, so Nigeria can decide that independently.

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“So, my advice is that the primary health care system is what’s super important and that with those finite resources, you have to prioritise expenditure,” Gates said.

Author profile

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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