The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that 32 Delta variant cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported in five states across the country.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who gave the confirmation at the resumed briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee, on Monday, in Abuja, cited Akwa Ibom State as having nine of the cases.
The NCDC boss listed Lagos, Rivers, and Oyo states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as the other places where at least one case of the Delta variant of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the country.
Ihekweazu stated that the agency had scaled up its sequencing capacity to have a better understanding of the burden of the variants of concern in the country.
He noted that the country had capacity for sequencing the variants, noting that Lagos state alone had three laboratories with capacity to do that, alongside the ACEGID lab in Ede and the National Reference Lab at the NCDC.
“We will continue to scale the weekly number of samples sequenced as part of our surveillance”, Ikekweazu said, while stressing that the risk of virus mutation was higher when there was a high transmission of the virus.
“While sequencing is important for us to understand the situation, handwashing, physical distancing and the proper use of face masks are very important to prevent the spread of the virus,” he further said.
He stressed that Nigerians must continue to adhere to all preventive guidelines to stay protected from getting infected with the COVID-19 virus, while herd immunity can only be achieved when over 50 percent of the population was vaccinated. (NAN)