FG raises alarm as COVID Delta variant hits five states, FCT

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The presidential steering committee on COVID-19 (PSC) has urged Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to the safety protocol, following the spread of the Delta variant of the virus across states.

The COVID Delta variant, which was first reported in Nigeria on July 8, has been linked to increased infection rates across countries.

Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and chairman of the PSC, expressed concern over the rising case count in recent times, noting that the country’s test positivity ratio has also increased to about six percent.

He said the PSC has been meeting to deliberate on the rising number of COVID-19 cases and proffer ways to prevent the spread of infections.

“​The world has added about four million cases and under 100,000 deaths in the last one week. All countries in the West African region are beginning to see the third wave, while Nigeria is recording about 500 cases daily in the last seven days. Our test positivity ratio has increased to about six percent. This is worrisome and shows that we are 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, FCT and Plateau States as 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 percent of the number of cases.

“​This development calls for great caution because the virus is very virulent and raging in so many other countries. We must therefore keep observing the NPIs and also ensure that we get vaccinated. Vaccination prevents severe cases and reduces hospitalisation and deaths, but does not eliminate contacting it, hence the need to religiously observe the NPIs.

“We need to test more and detect early enough, so that people who have contacted this virus can be treated early.”

He added that the details of 500 travellers, who violated the travel protocol, would soon be made public.

“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,” Mustapha said.

“The CG Immigration will be directed to lift the suspension and to also activate the new sanctions. Travellers who 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.”

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