The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Walter Mulombo, has clarified that the organisation has not ranked countries on the basis of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Mulombo made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the commencement of Nigeria’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccines programme, held at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi Abuja, on Monday.
He, however, noted that Nigeria had mounted one of the most effective responses to COVID-19 , putting in place courageous measures and helping to avert the spread that was predicted.
According to him, “Some independent media analysis had previously presented a ranking for top 10 countries, with Nigeria appearing in 4th position. It should be noted, however, that this is not a WHO ranking.
He added that while the government deserved commendation, Nigerians too deserved praise for cooperating with the Federal Government throughout the difficult times.
“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.
“I would like to remind everyone that most countries, including Nigeria, are currently experiencing the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks,” he said.
NAN recalls that the Economist’s Normalcy Index sought to establish which nations 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 global population and 90 per cent of global GDP.
“But Nigeria’s 84 per cent turned out to be the highest in Africa with Egypt ranked 2nd in Africa and 8th in the world with 81.1 per cent.”
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