The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians must continue to observe the COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical protocols, as the country battles the pandemic.
The minister said this Thursday at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team.
“We are not yet out of the woods; there is no declaration of victory yet. We are still going to continue all the measures needed to keep our country and citizens safe.
“These are called the public health measures; non-pharmaceutical interventions wear your masks and avoid all forms of public gathering and congregations that will make people too close to each other especially where you have enclosed space, which usually have a super spreader status.
“We want to particularly advise religious congregations, sporting congregations, markets and all those places where people gather. We have been improving therapeutics and the government has been very supportive with that,” he said.
Commenting on the proposed oxygen 38 plants approved by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, the minister said Lagos State would have two while the remaining 35 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would have one each.
“Just yesterday, the Federal Executive Council approved 38 brand new oxygen plants for the country, one will be sited in the states of the country and the Federal capital Territory but Lagos, because of the high proportion of illnesses that they have suffered, and they are going to have two. So the supply of oxygen will be assured when the plants come on board in 20 weeks’ time,” he said.
On the expected supplementary budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, the minister said the prices for the vaccines have not been ascertained yet.
“There are different prices for the vaccines and we do not really know exactly which one we’re getting. In addition, we know that the ones we are getting from COVAX are at no cost to us. So what you’re doing is that the additional ones that we’re going to get will take care of 50 million Nigerians, COVAX will take care of 20 million, they are even offering to take care of more than that, maybe up to 30 million.
“The prices vary, some vaccines are in the neighborhood of $20 or $30, and others are $5 or $6. Therefore, to make a budget, we are working on a rough sketch, some money earmarked. However, Mr. President has also announced that there will be a supplementary budget. But we want to get a clearer picture first, before you actually submit a budget,” he said.