Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, announced yesterday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country increased by 500 percent in the last two weeks due to the Delta and Omicron variants.
Taking responsibility as part of the #TakeResponsibility campaign that began in February 2020, the NCDC has launched its yuletide season campaign tagged: #CelebrateResponsibly.
As at December 19, 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria in the 36 states and the FCT.
Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa in a statement, yesterday said the CelebrateResponsibly focuses specifically on measures Nigerians need to take to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19 during the festive period, declaring that the country is now in the fourth COVID-19 wave.
Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as the scourge of COVID-19 continues to unsettle the country and the global community, has promised that Nigeria must find a home-grown cure for the dreaded virus in no distance future.
He lamented that despite the disparity in the percentage of vaccines given to the rich and the poor in the country, COVID -19 could not easily be won all over the world. The minister, who gave the assurance at a virtual/physical meeting with scientists, researchers, and traditional medicine practitioners, on claims of effectiveness of COVID-19 and natural compounds, in Abuja, yesterday, was apparently responding to the appeal made by Nigerian researchers and scientists who have developed a home-grown cure for COVID-19 but require government’s support and confirmation.
Onu has this to say on Home-grown cure: “No nation can depend entirely on outside help to meet the health challenges of her people. What we must learn is that Nigeria must be self-reliant as a nation. We can’t continue to be importing everything, it is no longer sustainable. We must make sure that the things we need are produced here.
“We must look inwards, have faith in ourselves and that is the beginning of our journey to self-reliance. We are committed to supporting local innovations to realize our dream.
“Our economy must no longer depend on resources but knowledge. If developed countries could use their resources to develop and be where they are today, why can’t we do the same?
“There is no reason Nigeria can’t beat China in science and innovation if we have confidence in ourselves. I am happy the economy is now knowledge-based but we must deepen it.”
While charging the innovators to sustain the search for COVID-19, the Minister said: “You are resources we consider greater than natural resources because the richest people on earth do not own oil and gas. The ministry is going to support you to find a cure for COVID-19, HIV, cancer, and other diseases.”
” We have to develop the science that will look into our local problems, if our forefathers could use herbals to cure diseases and hug each other, we must go back to those values that made us who we were.
“If we find a cure for COVID-19, jobs will be created and that will contribute to the economy and we can achieve the goal of President Buhari of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years.
“What we are doing today is significant and we will ensure that all the problems you mentioned are taken care of. By next year, all the necessary actions that will help take our nation to where we need to be will be taken.
“I believe the cure for COVID-19 will be found here in Nigeria but we must believe in science, and use science and technology to solve our problems. When this is done, we will create health tourism, wealth and jobs for everybody and the economy will rebound.”
Recall that the Minister a few weeks before COVID-19 was detected in Nigeria, had announced a given away price of 36 million to any Nigerian Scientists/Researcher who can develop a remedy to COVID-19 Pandemic.