WHO disputes reported high ranking for COVID-19 response in Nigeria

*The World Health Organisation disowns earlier reported high ranking for the COVID-19 response in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Though the global health institution has acknowledged that Nigeria has mounted one of the most effective responses to COVID-19 by putting in place measures, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has disowned the reported high ranking for President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s COVID-19 response.

Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Country Representative, who himself had referenced the apparent ‘4th ranking’ of the country at a recent event in Abuja, FCT, made U-turn and said: “Some independent media analysis had previously presented a ranking for top 10 countries, with Nigeria appearing on the fourth position.

“It should be noted, however, that this is not a WHO ranking.”

Dr. Mulombo clarified that the organisation had not ranked countries based on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, agency report said.

He made the clarification on the sidelines of the commencement of Nigeria’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccines programme, held Monday, August 16, 2021, at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, in Abuja, FCT.

However, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria noted that Nigeria has mounted one of the most effective responses to COVID-19, putting in place measures to combat the damaging pandemic.

“As I always mentioned at different fora, vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19.

“These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer. But for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physical distance, and avoid crowds.”

According to him, Nigeria “(is) currently experiencing the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.”

Mulombo also explained the Global Normalcy Index ranked Nigeria fourth out of 50 countries on the Economist’s Global Normalcy Index.

The index sought to establish which countries were returning to their pre-pandemic ranges by classifying nations on eight metrics: time away from residence, retail, workplace use, public transportation, site visitors, air journeys, cinema visits, and sporting occasions.

The pre-pandemic level of activity was set at a score of 100, and the assessment covered 50 countries representing about 75 per cent of the global population and 90 per cent of global GDP, he stated.

The UN Representative, quoting from the report said: “But Nigeria’s 84 percent turned out to be the highest in Africa, with Egypt ranked second in Africa and eighth in the world with 81.1 per cent.

“Hong Kong and New Zealand – two places that have implemented effective measures against the coronavirus and suffered relatively few deaths — are currently at the top of our tables.”

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