Nigeria not among nations on UK government’s COVID-19 red list, FG clarifies
The Federal Government has said Nigeria is not among red-listed countries, whose citizens require mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a supervised UK facility.
The UK government had in a statement on Monday said Nigerians would continue to isolate upon arrival to that country.
Speaking during a COVID-19 vaccination update in Abuja, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria’s status has not changed. “This is similar to our requirement to have travellers from the UK isolate for seven days upon arrival in Nigeria,” he said.
Shuaib noted that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) is in the process of reviewing requirements and is in touch with the UK government.
He said: “Just like they stated clearly in their communication, the current listing of countries with approved vaccination certification has just started in the UK. They are reviewing the country’s programmes in phases. If you go through the list of 50 closely, no African country made the list.
“The UK government is yet to comprehensively review Nigeria’s vaccination certification programme. From my communication with UK government officials, the UK government approves the vaccines administered in Nigeria. They are also involved with the vaccination programme in Nigeria through the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and they are optimistic that by the time Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccination programme certification is assessed, it will be approved.”
He added: “There are many countries in the world. So, we, like many other countries, are in the queue for this assessment. Once it gets to our turn, we are, more likely than not, to get approved in the coming weeks. As the UK government has clearly stated, the process of assessment would occur in phases.”
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo Kazadi, commended Nigeria on vaccines distribution. He said other countries would come to Nigeria to learn the act of vaccine distribution.
Meanwhile, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said Nigeria still has to increase the number of people vaccinated per day from 100,000 to 300,000, if it must meet the target.
Hawkins, who was represented at the occasion by Dr. Dorothy Ochola, said the number of people vaccinated every day has increased the daily average to about 100,000.
He also advised that the COVID-19 vaccine should be integrated into routine immunisation so that it can be easily accessed.