The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Saturday said that 2000 Nigerian citizens have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic.
Officially, 2,671 fatalities have been recorded in the country since the index case of the infection was detected in February, 2020.
The minister also added that the pandemic has also affected the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Mr Ehanire made the disclosure at the South-south zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination in Benin, Edo State capital.
The minister noted that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 in Nigeria are from unvaccinated persons.
According to him, the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out of this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Edo State government.
Speaking at the meeting, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, also noted at the meeting that out of the 4,680,000 vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, “NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination”, adding that the federal government has set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Also speaking, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, said the state has so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, said the state’s target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.