Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire says one out of every five persons tested in the last one week turned out positive for Covid-19, noting that the ministry of finance has released N10 billion ($25.393m) to support domestic production of Covid-19 vaccine.
The minister stated this on Monday during the briefing of the presidential task force on Covid-19, and also said that about 77 patients died within the period.
He said the number of cases recorded in January alone is 20 per cent of the total number of cases in the country.
“The number of new COVID-19 cases has continued to rise in Nigeria, such that we confirmed 10,300 confirmed cases from just 50,750 samples tested in one week, translating to 20% positivity rate. It means 1 out of every 5 persons tested in the last one week turned out positive compared to the previous week which recorded a positivity rate of 14%,” the minister said during the briefing.
“Nigeria’s total number of confirmed cases is 110,387 of a total of 1,172,234 samples tested, with a cumulative positivity rate of 9.4%. 1,444 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, with sadly 77 deaths in the past week and total fatality of 1,435.
“It is instructive of the 2nd wave that all cases recorded so far this January is more than 20% of all confirmed cases in Nigeria, more than the whole of December, barely halfway through the month.
“With regards to therapeutics, we must strive to reduce mortality from this disease by ensuring adequate stock of supplies and strengthening our case management capacity. In this regard, the Ministry of Health is working to expand oxygen availability across the country to address shortages, which have been a challenge globally and also to review the value of various pharmaceuticals and protocols proposed for COVID-19 treatment.”
The Nigerian minister during the briefing noted that the ministry of finance has released N10 billion ($25.393m) to support domestic production of COVID-19 vaccine.
“On vaccines, we are exploring all options available to us for the acquisition of approved vaccines for Nigerians. We are hopeful that the first consignment of vaccines will arrive in the country in a few weeks. Apart from the COVAX facility, which is billed to cover just 20% of our population, we plan to increase our chances of getting enough vaccines to meet the country’s need to cover an additional 50% of the population,” he said.
“The Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production in collaboration with recognized institutions, we are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.”
By Abel Ejikeme