The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently detected a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2.
The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility and it’s responsibility for spike in about 98 countries.
Virologists in Nigeria confirmed that with two jabs of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine and any other vaccines can give maximum protection against the Delta variant.
A renowned virologist, Prof Oyewale Tomori told me that according to studies in the United Kingdom, all vaccines including the AstraZeneca vaccine, are effective in preventing symptomatic diseases in a majority of people with underlying health conditions as well as the rest of the population.
COVID-19: Nigeria Records Confirmed Case Of Delta Variant – NCDC
Tomori however harped on preventive measures to halt the spread of the virus in the country. “Whether vaccinated or not, Nigerians should ensure they wear their face masks, avoid overcrowded areas, embark on frequent hand washing and go for test when displaying COVID-19 symptoms,” he urged.
In a chat with another virologist at the University of Ibadan, Prof Olaleye David, he notes that with the Delta variant now in Nigeria, it is vital to place more emphasis on prevention methods to prevent the spread of the virus, also stating that
manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, including the AstraZeneca vaccine, have said that vaccines effectively protect against the Delta variant.
“We don’t have data here in Nigeria to monitor how those who have taken their second jab of AstraZeneca vaccines are reacting to the new Delta variant. But from where the virus is spreading rapidly like in the USA and other parts of the world, they have said that the Astrazeneca vaccine and other vaccines protect against the new variant,” he said.
Statistics released by NCDC revealed that Nigeria reported 110 cases last week Wednesday, 145 on Thursday and 186 cases on Friday.
David however, emphasised that the surge of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria recently, is related to changes in weather and not necessarily the Delta variant. “We know this from epidemiology of influenza virus,” he said, adding that from study of the epidemiology influenza in Nigeria,
this month is the beginning of the second spike of flu, the first being the harmattan period. “If you look at other countries where there is surge of the virus, you would notice that there was spike in the virus, during the winter period.”
He says Nigerians are more susceptible to influenza virus during rainy season because of the cold. Stating that the number of people who ordinarily ought to be asymptomatic, are displaying symptoms of the virus because of susceptibility as a result of the cold weather.
He urged Nigerians to protect themselves, especially during this cold period, and go for test when displaying symptoms of COVID-19.