The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigerian authorities are working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to access vaccines as soon as they are available.

PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Monday at the weekly briefing of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained why the briefing failed to hold last week, adding that some flights from Europe resumed operations into Nigeria in the previous week.

Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), noted that this made it necessary to review some of the testing protocols.

He, however, urged Nigerians against travelling during the yuletide, stating that COVID-19 infection rate was increasing.

The PTF chairman stressed that restrictions on large gatherings remain in force during the festivities and decried the low responses to testing.

He observed that while the number appeared low, it has witnessed a steady rise recently.

On the economic situation in the country, Mustapha was worried that the recession could affect national response to the pandemic.

He decried that some travellers were involved in presenting fake testing documents, but the PTF was working closely with relevant agencies of government and legal authorities to impose the necessary sanctions on in-country travellers who evade testing or present fake documents.

This handout picture taken on August 6, 2020 and provided by the Russian Direct Investment Fund shows the vaccine against the coronavirus disease, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Handout / Russian Direct Investment Fund / AFP
(FILE) A handout picture taken on August 6, 2020, shows COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. AFP

As of 9am on Monday, Nigeria has tested a total of 743,298 samples collected from all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Of the samples collected, 66,383 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed with 62,076 people successfully treated and discharged.

One thousand one hundred and sixty-seven people have lost the fight to coronavirus while 3,140 cases are active.