FG SUSPENDS INAUGURATION OF LAGOS-IBADAN RAILWAY LINE AS 60 WORKERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
The Federal Government has suspended the inauguration of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project as about 60 workers from the site got infected with COVID-19.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, confirmed the development in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the nation's capital.
He said; “First let us admit that over 60 of our staff, not Ministry of Transportation staff, but the staff working on the rail project, have been infected by COVID-19.
“Luckily nobody has died and I pray nobody will die, but you see the kind of sacrifice everybody is making to get the rail to function."
Amaechi said minor works have been stopped on the Lagos-Ibadan railway facility due to the resurgence of the Covid-19.
“The timeline for inauguration will depend on COVID. If COVID stops today or reduces we will inaugurate the project.
“We all have to take responsibility. This is not for the NCDC, the PTF or government alone. By organising large gatherings indoors, you’re not only putting yourself and guests at risk but also the staff who have limited choice but to serve. By going to clubs, you’re putting your parents at risk," he said.
There is growing tension across Nigeria as it officially entered the second wave of infections from the COVID-19 pandemic in December.
The number of COVID-19 infections detected in the country in the past three weeks indicates that a second wave of the outbreak has begun, according to Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
As of December 23, 2020, the NCDC reports that Nigeria had recorded 80,922 COVID-19 infections and 1,236 deaths. The toll has taken a surge with over 20,000 infections recorded in the last three weeks.
As of January 12, 2021, the number of infections has risen to 101,331 and the death toll has increased to 1,361.
This means 25 COVID-19 related deaths and 20,409 more infections have been recorded in the space of 20 days.
On November 9, Pfizer said it's COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective against the COVID-19 disease.
On January 3, the PTF announced that Nigeria would receive its first consignment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the end of January.
The United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), and several other countries have received their first batch of the jab amid growing concerns of a new COVID-19 viral strain.