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WHO: Nigeria’s COVID response ranked fourth most successful globally

WHO: Nigeria’s COVID response ranked fourth most successful globally
August 14
08:08 2021

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 has been ranked as the fourth most successful in the world.

Walter Mulombo, WHO country representative in Nigeria, stated this on Thursday at an event to mark the arrival of the first batch of 177,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

In July 2021, a normalcy index published by The Economist ranked Nigeria fourth on the list of countries whose responses to the COVID pandemic have resulted in some level of return to normalcy.

“Covid-19 has changed life in too many ways to count. Yet any effort to assess how much its impact has receded requires a measure of what normalcy is. We have thus devised a normalcy index, tracking three types of activity. The first is travel, split between roads, flights and public transport. Next comes leisure time, divided among hours spent outside of homes, cinema revenues and attendance at sporting events. The last is commercial activity, measured by footfall in shops and offices,” the document reads.

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“For each variable, we obtained daily or weekly data for 50 countries, which account for 76% of the world’s population and 90% of its gdp. We combine them by measuring the change in each factor from its pre-covid level; averaging the changes in each category; and then averaging the grouped results together. Our global figure weights each country by its population.

“We calculate the index relative to a pre-covid norm of 100. When the pandemic was declared in March 2020, China had already locked down, bringing the index down to 80. As the disease spread, the index reached a low of 35. Since last July it has oscillated around 60. It now sits at 66, implying that only half of the disruption caused by covid-19 has been reversed.”

On the index, which tracks how countries have returned to pre-pandemic life, Nigeria is rated above 80.

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Speaking on Nigeria’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, Mulombo also commended the country’s preparation for the roll-out of the phase two vaccination, and encouraged citizens to keep safe by adhering to the COVID-19 protocol.

“We are witnessing the symbolic arrival of 177,600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines, another landmark event in Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, widely acclaimed by many as one of the most successful so far in the world,” he said.

“Nigeria was ranked fourth among the top ten most successful responses to COVID-19.

“WHO had, on many occasions, commended the government, particularly the presidential steering committee (PSC), federal ministry of health (FMOH), and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), for the successful completion of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out with the vaccination of the frontline workers and other priority groups who are at high risk of COVID-19.

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“Nigeria’s preparation for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination, involving more resources and logistics, is highly commendable.

“These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer. But for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds.

“J&J vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant and against severe disease, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.”

Nigeria began its vaccine roll-out with the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers in March and officially ended the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan in July.

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Thereafter, the federal government announced that it will begin administering the second batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses on August 16.

Over four million doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine were received by the federal government from the United States on August 1.

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