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Biden Reverses Trump’s Travel Ban On Nigeria, Yemen, Eritrea, Others

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The newly sworn-in American President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, issued an executive order nullifying a travel ban imposed on citizens of some Muslim-majority countries by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Before his exit from White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump-led administration was notorious for its harsh policies against immigrants and asylum seekers, one of his many election campaign promises.

He tightened the policies amidst the coronavirus pandemic which rocked the globe, claiming his decision was to protect the American populace.

However, Mr. Biden, immediately after his inauguration on Wednesday, issued a number of executive orders undoing some of the policies and projects of his predecessor.

Reversals

Mr Biden has now nullified the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries, including Nigeria, Eritrea, Yemen, and Sudan.

“There’s no time to waste.

“These are just all starting points,” he said before signing the 17 executive orders in the White House, a statement that connotes the possibility of many more to come.

Mr Trump’s strict immigration policies have been condemned by leaders and civil groups in the past.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on Wednesday, lauded Mr Biden’s decision berating his predecessor’s travel policy a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”

Against his predecessor’s plan to exit the World Health Organisation (WHO) by July 2021, Mr Biden has also submitted a letter renewing the U.S. ”commitment to funding the organization and honoring the country’s policies on climate change”.

Mr Trump ordered the suspension of funds to the WHO based on his suspicion of the alleged mismanagement of the deadly pandemic by the health agency and its (WHO) pandering to the whims, of the Chinese government.

One of Mr Biden’s newly signed executive orders also includes the abolishment of the construction of a wall along the U.S-Mexico border to deny citizens of the latter outright entry.

In a bid to combat the spread of the deadly virus, the 46th U.S. president (Biden) also encouraged his people to mask up as “it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.”

“It’s time to mask up, America,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden also signed an executive order mandating all people to wear masks in all federal buildings and on federal lands to fight increase the country’s chances against the pandemic.

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NPHCDA: No Microchips In COVID-19 Vaccine, No Changes In DNA

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Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine contains microchips and changes the DNA, is false.

Nigeria received its first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine containing 3.9 million doses on Tuesday.

In an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, Shuaib said it was the responsibility of health workers and scientists to address any concern that Nigerians may have regarding the vaccine.

“We as health workers; we as scientists have been working in the last few years to make sure that we don’t take for granted any questions or concerns that Nigerians will have. It is our responsibility not to just offer the vaccine but we also have to put in the hard work to convince Nigerians, to provide them with the information around their questions. So is there a chip for example? No there is no chip in the vaccine. Is it possible that this will change your DNA? No, that doesn’t happen,” he said.

His comment comes amid misconceptions by some Nigerians concerning the vaccine — such as ”it changes the DNA; it contains chips, and it is the mark of the Antichrist”.

While addressing concerns that only the rich will get access to the vaccine, Shuaib said the distribution will only be done according to priority — with frontline health workers as first priority followed by vulnerable groups.

”We have not already allotted these vaccines to the rich people or the people in the urban areas. Absolutely not. The president has been very clear , and the vice-president has also added his voice. The Chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) has communicated this, and in our PTF media briefing, we’ve made it very clear in terms of who we’re going to prioritize. The first group of people who are going to be taking this vaccine are the frontline health workers,” he said.

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COVID Vaccines Not Allotted To Rich People —– FG

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The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said contrary to widespread insinuations, the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid vaccines presently in the country have not been apportioned to “rich people”.

Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known while featuring on Channels Television’sSunrise Daily’ programme.

Nigeria on Tuesday received nearly four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF, and WHO.

The 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived in Abuja at noon on Tuesday.

Speaking on the delivery of the vaccines on Wednesday, the agency boss said, “We are protecting the vaccines very closely, we’ve increased security around the vaccines to make sure that unauthorized access is not possible.

“So, we are waiting on NAFDAC. We feel that they are going to do all of the checks that are necessary and once they give us the green light, we will be ready to roll out the vaccines.”

Asked whether the vaccines have been shared among influential people, Shuaib said, “I will tell you categorically that we have not allotted these vaccines to the rich people or to the people in the urban areas, absolutely not. Mr. President has been very clear.

“Mr Vice President has also added his voice and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force has communicated this at the Presidential Task Force media briefings. He has made it very clear in terms of who we are going to prioritize and I will repeat it here again that the first set of people who are going to be taking these vaccines are those people who have sacrificed in the last one year taking care of all Nigerians that have come down with Covid-19. So, the frontline health workers.

“On Friday, we are going to be launching the vaccines, we are going to be rolling them out at the treatment centers at the national hospital. Our priority will be the health workers that are frontline. We are going to be giving these vaccines to first responders.

“We are also going to be looking at people outside of the health sector who are at risk of getting Covid-19. We are going to be looking at those strategic leaders like Mr President and the Vice-President, those people who will also want to take the vaccines publicly so that they can motivate the followers to take the vaccines, to convince them that the vaccines are very safe.”

He enjoined Nigerians who wish to receive the vaccines to register on the website of the NPHCDA, adding that over 2.3 million Nigerians have registered in the past few hours.

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FG To Clamp Down On Individuals, Bodies Sponsoring Upheavals

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to henceforth clamp down on individuals and groups sponsoring upheavals with the sole aim to destabilize the nation.

It has also given a directive to security agencies to immediately commence the arrest of such individuals on the security watch list of the government.

The National Security Adviser to the President, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), who made this known while speaking with reporters at the end of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday, said the Council also banned mining operations in Zamfara state due to the activities of unscrupulous elements that have threatened the peace of the state.

According to him, the government has enough information about those fanning the embers of disunity in the country and will now go after them.

He said the government had intelligence report that certain individuals and groups were still hell-bent on ensuring that crisis persists across the nation and will now go after them and get them arrested for necessary prosecution.

Details later…

 

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