The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, on Monday insisted that Nigerians and foreign nationals who were vaccinated abroad should still provide evidence of PCR tests, while those who have been cleared must observe the mandatory two-week isolation.
He said that the decision was to curb the spread of COVID-19, adding that COVID-19 vaccination was no evidence that one cannot be infected with the virus.
The minister of state disclosed this on a live interview on Channels TVs Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
“The protocol is there already, which is to produce evidence of having taken the PCR test within the estimated time limit, which is about 72 hours before boarding.
“They will need to produce the certificate. Even when they come into the country, they will need to go into isolation and repeat the PCR test,” he said.
When reminded that travellers must have been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine and may pose no danger, the minister said, “It doesn’t matter. Being vaccinated does not absolutely mean that you cannot get the infection. What the vaccine guarantees is that if you get the infection, you are not likely to succumb.
“Please, let’s get this thing right. The fact that you get a vaccination is no licence for you to let yourself loose. You don’t let down your guard. At a time when we are yet to establish herd immunity, travellers should still observe the non-pharmaceutical intervention put in place,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria cannot achieve the herd immunity it requires until the country has a minimum of over 70 percent of the population vaccinated.
“It is a just a way of playing safe. Being vaccinated does not mean you can do what you like. No, it doesn’t work that way. We need to make that very clear to our people,” he said.
When asked if people on the priority list have been identified and selected already, Mamora reiterated that it was under the purview of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
“I cannot say that they have been selected, but NHPCDA already knows those in that (priority) group.
“The NHPCDA has the template and figures of where the people are and how to locate them in the roll-out of the exercise.
“The executive director of the agency has the protocol and details of all that. But efforts are ongoing,” he said.
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