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Omicron: Nigeria enters COVID-19 fourth wave

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the country is now experiencing the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemi...

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the country is now experiencing the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NCDC, in a statement Monday, said Nigeria had recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country as a result of the Delta and Omicron variants. 

It said the Federal Government, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health as well as the NCDC and its partners were therefore intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of “the risk we 

face and need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus.”

The NCDC said as of December 19, 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2985 deaths had been recorded in Nigeria across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. 

“The response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Therefore, individuals, families and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures, “ NCDC said.

It also urged Nigerians to adhere to recommended preventive measures as they celebrate Christmas and New Year. 

“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission. 

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation. 

“We strongly recommend outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of facemasks, and provision of hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers. 

Please make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” it advised.

The centre said it was launching its yuletide season campaign themed ‘#CelebrateResponsibly’ targeting the entertainment industry, transport industry, religious settings, media, security personnel, young people and the general public to promote adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures during this festive period.” 

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration yesterday said about three weeks ago, it concluded that the FCT was into the forth wave of COVID-19 following a rising number of cases.

Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Abubakar Tafida, told journalists that the FCTA might be forced to adopt the national vaccination mandate preventing unvaccinated people from going into strategic public space, offices or other strategic places.

 He said the decision was informed by the attitudes of many residents who were not bothered about going to get the vaccines.

He said as of December 19, 2021, the FCT had a total of 84 cases bringing cumulative cases so far confirmed in the territory, since the first wave, to about 24,861.

He stated: “And out of the number, 23,391 people have been discharged with a cumulative death of 224.

“As it is now, we have a total of 1,246 active cases. We have additional 13 cases in the past 24 hours. In terms of people or cases on admission, we have a total of 105.

“92 are in the dome, while 13 of them are at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.”

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday met with some scientists and herbalists across the country on effective herbal remedies for treatment and management of COVID-19.

He said the meeting was to avail Nigerians with efforts being made by the government  towards developing a genuine, reliable and effective home-grown  remedy for COVID-19.

Onu said Nigeria must develop the capacity, through research and innovation, to look after the healthcare needs of Nigerians.

“We’re confident that arising from this meeting, we’ll be able to find the best way to harness local expertise and resources in the development of either a home-grown vaccine or a curative agent against COVID-19”, he said. 

He said using homegrown remedy was a sustainable and dependable strategy to ensure that Nigerians were protected against the deadly virus. 

 

By Ojoma Akor, Hussein Yahaya & Zakariyya Adaramola