There are strong indications that Nigeria is gradually approaching the third wave of COVID-19 with the steady rise in positive cases in the last one week..
The PUNCH on Sunday gathered that the fear that the third wave might be deadlier than the two previous ones was heightened by the fact that the country recorded Delta variant of the virus last week when most states had exhausted their vaccine supplies.
According to reliefweb.int, the Delta variant has been confirmed in 22 African countries and has been found to spread 225 per cent faster than the original virus.
No fewer than 5,600 people across Africa had died from COVID-19 in the first week of July.
Lagos State, which was the epicentre of the virus in Nigeria during the first and the second waves, on Sunday said the bed occupancy in its isolation centres had increased from one per cent to six per cent.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Sunday, said only one per cent of the states’ residents had received COVID-19 vaccines, adding that the state was targeting 60 per cent for herd immunity.
He also lamented that between May 8 and 7 July, 2021, 18 per cent (9,057) of 50,322 “passengers of interest” who arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport could not be reached for mandatory isolation.
The governor said these as the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control admitted steady rise in COVID-19 cases in the country in the last one week.
Increase not due to backlog – NCDC
The Spokesperson for the Director General of the NCDC, Emeka Oguano, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, stated that higher figures recently recorded were not due to backlog of cases.
Until last week, many Nigerians had heaved a sigh of relief as the country was recording an average of less than 40 cases daily.
But the daily COVID-19 cases shot up to an average of 105 cases last week as the Federal Government alerted Nigerians that the country had recorded its first case of the Delta variant of coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation has said Delta is the most transmissible variant of COVID-19.
According to the global body, the variant is responsible for the spike in about 98 countries across the world where it has been reported.
No fewer than 737 new COVID-18 cases were recorded in the country between July 4 and 10, according to the NCDC.
Vaccine expired on July 9, we have exhausted our allocation – Ogun
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, in an interview with one of our correspondents said the state had exhausted the vaccine doses allocated to it by the Federal Government.
Coker said the state got additional 10,000 vaccines and had also consumed them. Coker disclosed that July 9 was the expiry date of the vaccine the state received.
She said, “The expiry date was 9th of July. We have consumed all vaccine doses allocated to the state and addition of 10,000 doses.
“The Federal Government policy is that all vaccines will be procured centrally and distributed to states. So along with all other states, we await the next batch of vaccines from the NCDC.”