- NCDC Confirms 32 Cases Of Delta Variant In 5 States
The Federal Government has hinted that six states and the Federal Capital Territory are currently driving the third wave of COVID-19 disease in the country as the carnage of the pandemic lingers.
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, while expressing concern in Abuja on Monday during a briefing listed Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Kano and Plateau as states that are now on red alert.
According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha, all countries in the West African region were beginning to witness the third wave.
He lamented that Nigeria has been recording about 500 cases daily in the last seven days.
Mustapha said the country’s test Positivity Ratio had increased to about six per cent, describing the development as worrisome and that the country was not out of the woods yet.
He said: “It is no more news that the Delta variant has made its way into Nigeria.
“The PSC is particularly concerned about the situation in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Plateau and FCT.
“This variant has made way into these states and accounts for the rising cases in these states and across the nation.
“Lagos alone accounts for over 50 per cent of the number of cases, the development calls for great caution because the virus is very virulent and raging in so many other countries.
“We must therefore keep observing the Non Pharmaceutical Intervention, (NPIs) and also ensure that we get vaccinated.
“Vaccination prevents severe cases and reduces hospitalisation and deaths, but does not eliminate contracting it, hence the need to religiously observe the NPIs.”
Speaking on those evading travel protocol and quarantine, the SGF said: “The PSC is ready to publish over 500 travellers who violated the travel protocol and those who evaded quarantine this week.
“Similarly, those who had their passports barred for six months will be lifted in the coming days.
“The CG Immigration will be directed to lift the suspension and to also activate the new sanctions.
“Travellers that did not go for their Day 7 test will have restriction placed on their international passports for six months, while those who evaded quarantine will similarly have restrictions on their international passports for one year.
“I also want to announce that the National International Travel Portal is being reviewed to better enhance a hitch free experience for travellers.
“This review will be completed in the next two weeks.
“The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu is ready for reopening.
“A date will be announced in due course after few logistics issues are cleared.
“The PSC has also reviewed the travel protocols for diplomatic travellers.”
The SGF, therefore, called for more testing, noting: “There is the need to test more and detect early enough so that people who have contacted this virus can be treated early.
“I am pleased to announce that we currently have 143 molecular laboratories in the country (54 private and 89 public) where we can go and test.
“Please make yourself available for testing and please, test regularly.”
Also, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has confirmed that 32 Delta variant cases of coronavirus have been reported in five states across the country.
Ihekweazu, gave the confirmation on Monday in Abuja at the resumed briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
He said Akwa Ibom State has nine of the cases.
The NCDC boss listed Lagos, Rivers and Oyo states as well as the Federal Capital Territory among states where at least one case of the Delta variant of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the country.
“We will continue to scale the weekly number of samples sequenced as part of our surveillance,” Ikekweazu said, while stressing that the risk of virus mutation was higher when there was a high transmission of the virus.
“While sequencing is important for us to understand the situation, handwashing, physical distancing and the proper use of face masks are very important to prevent the spread of the virus,” he further said.
He stressed that Nigerians must continue to adhere to all preventive guidelines to stay protected from getting infected with the COVID-19 virus, while herd immunity can only be achieved when over 50 percent of the population was vaccinated.