We must get isolation centres ready for likely COVID third wave – NIMR DG

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Babatunde Salako, director-general of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), says isolation centres across the country should be prepared for a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Salako stated this on Saturday in an interview with NAN, in Lagos.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, had, on July 11, expressed concern over the increasing number of cases recorded in the state, and warned of a potential third wave of infections.

Days later, the management of the University of Lagos said its medical centre had recorded a significant increase in patients showing symptoms of COVID-19, and asked students to vacate the hostels.

Speaking with NAN, Salako called for necessary efforts to be put in place to address the possibility of a third wave.

“We are beginning to see increase in the rate of positive results in Lagos, and that should be a signal that we are entering the third wave,” he said.

“I will not say we have entered yet, but it is an opportunity for us to prepare because a lot of Nigerians have lowered their guards and no longer comply with all the COVID-19 guidelines.

“Five weeks ago, we saw one or two positives per day in over 200 samples tested per week; two weeks ago, it jumped to 13, and the following week, it increased to 30.

“We don’t want to have the kind of experience countries like India are going through. So, it is not only in the hands of the government alone, but also in the hands of the people to do the needful.

“The nature of the COVID-19 Delta variant is that it affects people easily, and with that knowledge, we should preempt that. We must also get our isolation centres ready and there should be retraining of staff in getting ready for a likely third wave.

“More importantly, we should expedite the process of the purchase of our vaccine to vaccinate a large majority of Nigerians, and I am aware that the government is doing a lot about that.”

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