Nigeria is reportedly experiencing significant increase in new COVID-19 cases in recent times.
Statistics accumulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, showed marked increase in the number of daily confirmed cases from the 1st of July, 2021 with 74 cases.
As of the 5th of September, 2021, Nigeria had carried out a total of 2,779,725 PCR tests, recorded a total of 195,511 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,552 deaths since inception of the pandemic in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
Lagos, the epicentre, is leading with a total of 73,906 confirmed cases and 645 deaths followed by the FCT with 20,684 confirmed cases and 176 deaths. Third, in line is Rivers state with a total of 10,765 confirmed cases and 137 deaths.
Kogi State with 5 confirmed cases and 2 deaths has the lowest number due to poor testing.
Statistics obtained from the COVID-19 microsite of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had shown a drastic downward trend in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria during the second wave of the virus precisely towards the end of June 2021.
According to Vanguard news, investigations showed that the daily confirmed cases reduced to as low as 2 cases on 27th of June, 2021, and on the 20th of June, the country recorded no cases.
However, the situation which appeared under control proceeded to worsen. By the end of June there were 75 new cases ushering in the third wave of the pandemic in Nigeria.
Although the NCDC did not confirm a specific date that the 3rd wave commenced, findings showed that the 3rd wave in the country may have commenced from the 1st of July, 2021 with a total of 74 new cases.
Ever since the number of cases has continued to soar in the country. In less than two weeks, Nigeria recorded a total of 2,266 new cases.
Additionally, findings revealed that from the 20th of June, 2021 when Nigeria recorded zero cases, to September 5, 2021, when it recorded 459 cases, there were 435.
Also, as from the 21st of July, 2021, there has been a steady rise. Between July 21st 2021 and September 5th, Nigeria recorded a total of 25,008 new confirmed cases.
With the foregoing, experts are worried that if Nigerians continue to throw caution to the winds, more deaths and cases will be recorded within a shorter period.
According to the Communication Specialist at the NCDC, Mr Emeka Oguanuo, although there is no specific date that the 3rd wave commenced, Nigeria is witnessing steady rise in the number of cases, hence, the need for Nigerians to keep to the NCDC recommended safety protocols.
It is no longer news that unlike the first wave, Nigerians have abandoned safety protocols recommended by the NCDC.
From Lagos to Sokoto, there are growing concerns over the rising COVID-19 infections. The situation is being heightened by the emergence of the highly infectious Delta Variant.
A Few weeks back, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared that Lagos alone had witnessed a rise in cases and that the bed occupancy in isolation centres had increased from one per cent to six per cent.
Soon after the governor spoke, the NCDC also detected a case of Delta Variant in Nigeria, which experts say may be responsible for the increase in number of cases in the country.
In a chat with Vanguard, a Public Health Analyst, Dr Casmier Ifeanyi, said Nigerians must be on their guard as no one needs to be a health expert to know that something is unfolding.
“You need not be a public health expert to decipher that something strange was unfolding in our country from the rising number in the reportage of detected positive cases of COVID-19 as published daily by the NCDC,” he said.
He showed worry that Nigerians long ago abandoned compliance with the non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols despite all appeals and persuasions from the health authorities and government.
Ifeanyi, who warned that more worrisome is the country’s age-long weak health system and infrastructure, said the fact that COVID-19 vaccine coverage is relatively low remains a major problem.
On his part, the Lagos State Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Saliu Oseni who rated compliance to the use of face mask at 40 per cent and social distancing zero said the government could have done better.
Oseni said Government needs to provide hand sanitizers to commercial buses in order to sanitize the hands of commuters when entering their buses.
He urged the Federal Government to launch a campaign that would educate Nigerians on the need to comply with NCDC guidelines.
The National President, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN, Dr. Jimmy Arigbabuwo expressed concern that with the stampede at banks and markets there is heightened fear of explosion of infection.
Arigbabuwo urged the federal government to adopt the Senegalese option by using test kits to increase testing in the country.
“At least we get results similar to spot tests of HIV those days that may later be subject to confirmation having gotten a pointer of suspicion.”