- I welcome you to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) National briefing for today, Monday, 2nd August, 2021 after a long break.
2. During this long break, the PSC have been meeting to deliberate on the rising number of COVID-19 cases and proffer ways to curtain a huge impact on our lives and livelihood.
3. The world has added about 4 million cases and under 100,000 deaths in the last one week. All countries in the West African region are beginning to see the 3rd Wave while Nigeria is recording about 500 cases daily in the last 7 days. Our Test Positivity Ratio has increased to about 6%. This is worrisome and shows that we are not out of the woods yet.
4. It is no more news that the Delta variant has made its way into Nigeria. The PSC is particularly concerned about the situation in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Ekiti and Kwara States as this variant has made way into these states and accounts for the rising cases in these states and across the nation. Lagos alone accounts for over 50% of the number of cases. The DG NCDC will elaborate on this development.
5. This development calls for great caution because the virus is very virulent and raging in so many other countries. We must therefore keep observing the NPIs and also ensure that we get vaccinated. Vaccination prevents severe cases and reduces hospitalization and deaths but does not eliminate contacting it, hence the need to religiously observe the NPIs.
6. We need to test more and detect early enough so that people who have contacted this virus can be treated early. I am pleased to announce that we currently have 143 molecular laboratories in the country (54 private and 89 public) where we can go and test. Please make yourself available for testing and please, test regularly.
7. The PSC is ready to publish over 500 travellers who violated the travel protocol and those who evaded quarantine this week. Similarly, those who had their passports barred for 6 months will be lifted in the coming days. The CG Immigration will be directed to lift the suspension and to also activate the new sanctions. Travellers who did not go for their Day-7 test will restriction placed on their international passports for 6 months while those who evaded quarantine will similarly have restrictions on their international passports for one year.
8. I also want to announce that the National International Travel Portal is being reviewed to better enhance a hitch free experience for travellers. This review will be completed in the next two weeks. The Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu is ready for reopening. A date will be announced in due course after few logistics issues are cleared.
9. The PSC has also reviewed the travel protocols for diplomatic travellers and the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs will brief on this.
10. Today, we are privileged to have a Representative of the United States of America who are graciously donating over 4 million doses of Moderna Vaccines. We thank the Government and people of the USA for this gift and we promise that it will be utilized judiciously. Also, important to note is that every State of this country now has at least one U701 Ultra Cold Chain equipment to store ultra-cold vaccines. The ED NPHCDA will elaborate on the vaccines coming into the country.
11. I now call on the Hon. Minister of Health followed by the DG-NCDC, ED-NPHCDA and the Head of Technical Secretariat to provide you with technical updates.
12. I thank you for listening.