The Federal government on Monday said Nigeria has now entered the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic following a sharp increase in the number of infections since the month of July when the country detected the Delta Covid-19 variant.
This comes amid the indefinite nationwide strike action embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) over failure of the federal government to address welfare, training and service delivery issues to members, among others.
The minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 said, “Like many parts of Africa, Nigeria has begun to record a sharp increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases since the month of July, as global anxiety over the Delta variant spreads.
“All data indicate that we are now no doubt in the third wave of resurgence of the SARS-COV-2 infection, which we saw coming long ago.
Ehanire informed that the federal ministry of Health is engaging resident doctors who have embarked on the industrial action with a view to quickly resolving the issues.
The minister however directed medical directors at federal and state hospitals to ensure that service delivery is not disrupted in their centres, while engagements begin.
While noting that the delta variant spreads more rapidly, Ehanire urged all Nigerians to improve on observance of public health measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman PSC speaking, disclosed that Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, FCT and Plateau States are states of concern as the Delta variant is accounting for the rising cases in the states and across the nation.
He noted that Lagos alone accounts for over 50 percent of the number of cases.
“It is no more news that the Delta variant has made its way into Nigeria. The DG NCDC will elaborate on this development.
“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.
“We 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”, Mustapha said.
As at Monday, Nigeria has recorded a total of 174,315 Covid-19 cases from 2,542,261 samples tested, with 7,151 active cases, and 2,149 deaths.