COVID-19 Won’t Be Last Pandemic, WHO Warns
The World Health Organisation has said the COVID-19 pandemic might not be the last the world would witness, even as it called for sustained fight against the virus.
Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, disclosed this at the ninth General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Epidemiological Society of Nigeria held in Port Harcourt.
Mulombo said the pandemic has provided Nigeria and the global community opportunity to strengthen immunisation, build capacity of health workers and strengthen disease surveillance.
He noted: “COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a great lesson on preparedness. It is not yet over. It may not likely be the last pandemic. Therefore, we must sustain the tempo.”
Earlier, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of EPISON’s ninth AGM, Dr Omosivie Maduka, said the event was imperative to evaluate the epidemic and intelligence tools used in the control of the pandemic.
“At the end of the conference, we will issue a communiqué that will state our key observations concerning our successes and challenges with the COVID-19 response in various aspects and we will be proffering our expert opinion on what needs to be done, to be able to take us from where we are to where we need to be, which is a complete and total control of the pandemic,” he said.
Nigeria, meanwhile, received 4 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the United States, yesterday, as the country steps up efforts to battle a third wave of infections.
The doses, which came on two planes, were received by officials from the UN children agency, UNICEF, on behalf of Nigeria at the airport in Abuja.
It was the second batch of vaccines to arrive in Africa’s most populous nation after 4 million doses were delivered in March under the COVAX scheme.
This came as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the United States (US) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the Delta coronavirus variant appears to cause more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox.
They said vaccination is not enough by itself to stop the spread of variants and recommended combination with non-pharmacological interventions such as isolation and quarantine, physical distancing, use of facemasks and hand hygiene.