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Uncertified COVID-19 vaccine fills Kano markets

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… FG warns against sales, use

UNSCRUPULOUS elements are cashing in on the spike in COVID-19 infections in Kano to litter the state with fake and uncertified vaccines, misrepresenting them as capable of preventing the virus. 

  This struck instant patronage among unsuspecting members of the public who have continued to patronize the products believing them to be genuine and effective.

  But federal government yesterday warned Nigerians against patronising uncertified COVID-19 vaccines being hawked in Kano State.

UNSCRUPULOUSLY elements are cashing in on the spike in COVID-19 infections in Kano to litter the state with fake and uncertified vaccines, misrepresenting them as capable of preventing the virus. 

  This struck instant patronage among unsuspecting members of the public who have continued to patronize the products believing them to be genuine and effective.

  But federal government yesterday warned Nigerians against patronising uncertified COVID-19 vaccines being hawked in Kano State.

  Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed gave the warning Tuesday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19.

He said; “In the absence of vaccine or drugs, Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention NPI remains the most effective way to contain the spread of the disease and protect Nigerians.

“By the way, you must have heard of the vaccine being hawked in Kano which is called ‘Covid-19 Vaccine’. It is yellow in colour. It is not certified by anybody. Please, do not patronize the hawkers.

 “In the meantime, the National Broadcasting Commission NBC has taken steps to prevent misinformation via the broadcast stations by warning them to adhere strictly to the professional ethics of balance and fairness in reporting COVID-19.

“In particular, the Commission has warned the stations against bringing on their programmes ‘panelists’ with agenda to make reckless statements and insinuations.”

Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora on his part disclosed that the Federal government has deployed teams in all states currently afflicted by the pandemic.

He said, “the national rapid response team (RRTs) supporting the COVID-19 response in each affected state and 23 RRTs have been deployed. With community transmission, we are doing active case search in communities.

This strategy requires more testing kits and diagnostics. Currently, we are assessing additional laboratories for accreditation and will announce more laboratories soon”.

Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abubakar also briefed on the efforts by his ministry to decontaminate several airports in the country, saying many public places in Abuja have been decontaminated in conjunction with the Federal Fire Service.

  Meanwhile, Federal Government has said investigations have begun to ascertain the reports of mass deaths in Kano State.

The National Coordinator of Presidential Task Force, Sani Aliyu, during a press briefing on COVID-19, said although the reports were not clear enough,

He added that there were plans to set up more testing centres and ensure effective contact tracing to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Aliyu said: “I have been in talks with residents from Kano and the government. It is not clear whether the reports from Kano are factual or not but we have set up a team to investigate these claims.

“The DG National Centre for Diseases Control has sent a rapid response team to Kano and we are thinking of opening more centres for testing to improve the number of tests.

The best way of avoiding the spread in Kano is to appeal to residents to stay home. We recognise the need for more testing and communities to help support the government and agency.

“We will increase support for Kano because they have the highest population just as Lagos and a commercial hub. We are also worried with figures from Kano as regard and henceforth will do more of contact tracing, isolation and testing in the state,” he said.

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