Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar on Sunday, December 20, implored the Nigerian government to ban flights from the United Kingdom over the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Atiku made this appeal via a series of tweets on his Twitter handle.
According to the former PDP Presidential candidate, the reason Nigeria was hit harder than necessary during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was that the government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians.
He urged the government to act with caution and temporarily halt all flights from the UK; until this new strain of COVID-19 was brought under control.
He added that Nigeria’s health sector was not sufficiently prepared enough to handle a sudden and unpredictable surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atiku wrote: “The reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the #COVID-19 virus was that the Federal Government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians, like myself and others, to shut down our borders once the virus became a pandemic.
The reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the #COVID19 virus is that the Federal Government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians, like myself and others, to shut down our borders once the virus became a pandemic.
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) December 20, 2020
“The new strain of COVID-19 that has erupted in the United Kingdom, and specifically, London; can add to Nigeria’s health emergency if we do not act with an abundance of caution; and temporarily halt all flights to and from the UK until this new strain is brought under control.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government (FG), on Sunday, December 20, revealed its plans to raise a supplementary budget; to tackle the funding gaps for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
This comes amidst apprehension over the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country; and the urgent need for a concrete arrangement to procure vaccines being manufactured to manage the virus.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Infectious Disease Control, in an interview at the weekend that efforts were ongoing; to articulate all that it would take to ensure that Nigeria gets enough vaccines for its citizens.
1st News had reported that Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in new infections this month; with the daily number of positive cases averaging 600 and above.
This was after months of a slump in the number of COVID-19 infections.
The FG had earlier said it has set aside N10 billion in the 2021 Appropriation Bill for the purpose of procurement; and evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccines when they are ready.
It also said that a task team has been constituted to help in mobilising resources; and advising the government on how best to utilise such resources to effectively deal with the pandemic.