Says strict adherence to public health, social measures will check rise
By Chioma Obinna
Few days after the Lagos State Government announced the possible third wave of COVID-19 in Lagos, the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu Wednesday warned that Nigeria was at high risk of a surge in COVID cases.
Ihekweazu in a chat with Vanguard said the risk was even higher with the emergence of the Delta variant of the virus.
The Director-General who noted that the pandemic was still active in the country, urged Nigerians to be aware of the risk and take responsibility to protect their lives, loved ones and the economy.
Ihekweazu stated that the rise in cases in Nigeria was imminent with what they have seen in several other countries across the world and in Africa.
He added: “This risk is even higher with the Delta variant of the virus which is more transmissible.
“We have a window of opportunity to prevent a surge in cases, but this requires strict public adherence to public health and social measures.
“Please, wear a face mask when you are in public settings, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands regularly. We also appeal to businesses, schools, religious homes and other settings to ensure that these measures are obeyed at all times.
He said: “We have seen a slight increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Lagos State, and remain grateful for the State Government’s proactive leadership in recognising this risk.”
On vaccines, he said the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection, hence, the need for people to get vaccinated.
“So please individuals should get vaccinated in addition to adhering to public health and social measures.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control will continue to work with states, our sister agencies and partners in strengthening Nigeria’s ongoing response,” he added.
Ihekweazu said the NCDC has been working with the private laboratories approved for COVID-19 travel tests, to carry out genomic sequencing of COVID-19 positive cases among travellers, in addition to the routine genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory and with the African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemers University, Ede.
He however added that the responsibility to prevent a surge in cases was not with the government alone, but requires adherence to public health and social measures by all members of the public.