BY EMEKA EJERE

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that Nigeria has tested 1.3 million persons for COVID-19 so far since the virus hit the country in February 2020,

Feyemi, who made the disclosure on Tuesday while delivering an address at the Chatham House Event, London, titled: “The role of Nigeria’s State Governments in recovery: responses to COVID-19 linked challenges” said,“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to the health and economy of nations, including Nigeria.

“As of today, Nigeria has tested 1.3 million persons for COVID-19, with 10% (131,242) of these confirmed positive,” the governor said.

Lagos, Plateau, Kaduna, Oyo, Rivers and the FCT have contributed 70% of the cases, with Lagos State still the epicentre of the virus in the country.

According to the governor, data indicate that men appear to be disproportionately affected, accounting for 69% of the confirmed cases.

He also noted that Nigeria is expected to procure a total of 140 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine within the next two years.

“We are working with the Federal Government to ensure we have vaccines available in the country. Just last week, the NGF invited experts to brief governors on vaccine procurement and administration. We had a National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, where the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) shared the plans around vaccines procurement.

“We expect about 80 million doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40% of the population, while another 60 million doses are being planned for 2022,” he added.

This comes days after the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria had secured an additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

However, the date of the vaccine’s delivery into the country remains unknown as vaccine manufacturers struggle to meet global demand.

“We do not have an exact date,” Dr Ehanire said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today last Thursday. “The date it comes out depends on when the manufacturers are able to deliver, and that is not something that any country can enforce at this time.”

The government had said Nigeria was expected to take delivery of approximately 100,000 doses of Pfizer/Biontech vaccines by the end of January.