COVID-19: EFCC turns back unvaccinated staff members

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, turned back unvaccinated staff members from its headquarters.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the exercise, which started at about 7a.m., saw staff of the anti-graft agency without COVID-19 vaccine cards or evidence of being vaccinated being turned back home.

NAN reports that those who were able to provide the evidence of vaccination were allowed into the office.

The enforcement of the mandatory vaccination comes amid fears of the new Omicron variant.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed that three cases of the variant have been confirmed in the country.

The agency said the three cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing, linking the cases to three passengers from South Africa.

Addressing journalists on the reason for the enforcement, the secretary of the Commission, Mr George Ekpungu said the exercise was necessary since reports on the emergence of Omicron variant into the country.

He said the Chairman of EFCC, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa had given the directive for the enforcement to ensure all staff was being vaccinated.

Ekpungu said that the Chairman felt, as the leading anti-corruption agency, they needed to also lead the part in the enforcement of this new directive and compliance.

“You will agree with me that the cases of COVID-19 are on the increase worldwide and we must be on the lookout in order to ensure that our staff is safe.

“We have been sensitising staff internally but felt the need to make it public to encourage others to copy from us,’’ he said.

The Chairman and management have promised to decide on measures to be taken about those who have refused to be vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 protocols were not instituted by the EFCC. They are international and national protocols.

“For those who said they will not take the vaccine, they will continue to stay locked out until they take a decision.

“We also have vaccine at our clinic here for those who are interested,’’ he said.

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had earlier given a directive mandating all Federal Civil Servants to be vaccinated or present evidence of negative PCR test for COVID-19, effective from Dec. 1, 2021.

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