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Ukraine-Russia war: 193 Nigerians of the 2,357 evacuees test positive for COVID-19 – SGF Mustapha

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No fewer than 193 Nigerians out of the 2,357 evacuated from the war-torn Ukraine tested positive for COVID-19, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 announced on Monday in Abuja.

The Committee Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said those who tested positive were managed according to protocols.

He spoke in Abuja at the national briefing by the committee, the first this year.

“The Port Health Services have so far screened about 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine for COVID-19 out of the over 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine.

“ Out of these passengers, 193 tested positive to COVID-19 and are managed according to our protocols,’’ he said.

The SGF noted that although there has been a consistent decline in number of cases around the world, it should not give Nigerians the leverage to let their guards down yet.

“Because there are predictions of rebounds as we can see in China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France, Hong Kong, etc. In fact, China has reintroduced lockdowns in some cities due to the spike in cases.

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“We still have the National Response in place as we continue to monitor global trends and adapt them with our situation in country,’’ Mustapha told newsmen, adding  “today’s briefing will be focusing on updates on some key developments ranging from the review of the international travel protocols.”

Others are update on our vaccination status, and the evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine.

Giving a global figure of 471 million confirmed cases, he said six million deaths were recorded while in Nigeria, 255,103 cases were logged with 3,142 deaths.

On vaccines, the Steering Committee Chair disclosed that 11 billion vaccine doses were administered globally, while in Nigeria, more than 20 million persons had been vaccinated with at least the first dose.

Mustapha said:“This number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated.

“The PSC continues to strongly recommend the use of face masks in enclosed environments. In open spaced, the use of face masks is discretional.

“The Technical Head of the PSC will elaborate on the revised protocols and implementation guidelines.The PSC also warns Nigerians to be mindful of Scammers specially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the NITP and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying post arrival test.

“The PSC wishes to put Nigerians on notice that two major religious festivities (Easter and Sallah) are approaching and we shall be experiencing increased passenger traffic in and out of the country.’’

On the International Travel Protocols, Mustapha said the committee had reviewed the situations around the world and applied such to the Nigerian situation.

“We have revised the International Travel Protocols, which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April, 2022 as follows: In-bound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test;

“On arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport;

“Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform;

“Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport;

“Rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged;

“All passengers travelling out of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to fully comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination,’’ he explained.

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