The COVID-19 Delta variant has recorded more casualties, as three persons out of the 156 new positive cases have been confirmed dead in Akwa Ibom State.
The ravaging effect of the new variant had in the past two weeks increased from five to 156.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, secretary to state government and chairman, Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, called on all citizens of the state to obey all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols earlier enunciated.
Noting that all COVID-19 monitoring mechanisms have been reactivated to ensure strict compliance with guidelines and protocols to assist the state combat the new wave, the state government also advised citizens to ensure that “social distancing in tricycles and in Mini-buses and wearing of face masks are to be strictly complied with.
“Religious houses (churches and mosques) should run at half capacity and services should last not more than one (1) hour.
“Hotels, sit-outs, clubs, schools, and transport companies, supermarkets, Banks, pharmacies should all ensure compliance with all Covid-19 preventive measures in their facilities.
“Report any suspicious symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and body pains and weakness to the nearest Covid-19 facility or use the following help lines 08000275664, 08189411111,” Ekuwem stated.
He said the state molecular laboratories are fully functional and tests for COVID-19 are being done regularly.
“We ask you to avail yourself of this facility for your COVID-19 tests. Government shall continue to monitor the trends in the disease and take actions as may be necessary from time to time”, he added.
Meanwhile, the minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that the country was beginning to see a pandemic of two tracks as the number of new infections has increased.
Ehanire stated this yesterday during a virtual press briefing organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He said, “The delta variant is tearing through unvaccinated populations. We witnessed the unfortunate surge in cases in India a few months ago and a similar surge is now being seen in most African countries. In Nigeria, the Delta variant was first detected two weeks ago, and we have begun to see an increase in the number of new cases.”
The minister commended the recent attention given to vaccine distribution and urged high income countries to do more to support low and middle income countries.
“Nigeria received just over four million AstraZeneca doses to start with, from the COVAX facility and Government of India and started deployment early, according to WHO recommendations for Health workers and vulnerable populations. Vaccines received EUA from NAFDAC,” he said.
Ehinare, however, noted that Nigeria and other countries will continue to suffer the devastating impact of the pandemic if the global inequitable rollout of vaccines is not addressed.
He therefore called on richer countries to share doses with Nigeria through existing mechanisms such as COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) managed by the Africa CDC.
He, however, thanked the United States and the United Kingdom for sharing doses through COVAX and the Africa CDC with Nigeria, and also made commitments for these doses to be delivered in the coming month.
“It is equally important that richer countries support the IP waiver and facilitate free movement of vital raw materials for vaccines to scale up production capacity.
“We appeal to vaccine manufacturers to make it as easy as possible for countries to share doses and prioritise tech transfer agreements to expand global production,” said Ehanire.