Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, and Plateau States including FCT are cases for concern as the 3rd wave of COVID-19 pandemic rages in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) has said.
Speaking at its regular briefing on Monday, the secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha, said the all countries in the West African region were beginning to see the 3rd wave while Nigeria was recording about 500 cases daily in the last seven days.
“Our Test Positivity Ratio has increased to about 6 per cent. This is worrisome and shows that we are not out of the woods yet.
“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 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 per cent 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 Non Pharmaceutical Intervention, 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,” he said.
Speaking on the travelers 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 who did not go for their Day-7 test will 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 also called for more testing, noting that, “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.”
Meanwhile, the United States of America officially donated four million doses of Moderna vaccine to Nigeria.
Speaking on this, the SGF said “today, we are privileged to have a representative of the United States of America who are graciously donating over four million doses of Moderna vaccines. We thank the Government and people of the USA for this gift and we promise that it will be utilized judiciously.”
The PSC chairman also said that every state in country now has at least one U701 Ultra Cold Chain equipment to store ultra-cold vaccines and this will help in storing the vaccines.