If Nigerians thought that the worst is over as regards COVID-19 pandemic, recent development in Ekiti State and reports by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) say otherwise.
On Saturday, Ekiti State government had to reintroduce the use of face mask, handwashing, sanitisation and social distancing at public places as 74 persons were isolated during the week after testing positive to the virus.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Oyebanji Filani said residents must adhere to the measures including “wearing of facemasks in public gatherings, maintaining hand hygiene through proper handwashing or use of alcohol-based hand rub, social or physical distancing, reporting at the nearest health facility when sick, getting tested and isolating if positive and adherence to COVID-19 measures by banks and other institutions”.
Filani said he had earlier warned residents before the Sallah celebration given the indications of possible upsurge.
To heighten the concern, NCDC’s latest COVID-19 counts put Ekiti State on top of the chart with 364 cases. The state’s cumulative cases from the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020 till 30 June 2022 – over two years – was 2,006. NCDC however explained that the 364 cases were backlog from August 2021 (300) and June 2022 (64).
For 21 and 22 July 2022, 619 cases were reported by NCDC with Ekiti State’s 364 topping the chart.
Like the rest of the country, Ekiti State had been in the battle against COVID-19, but had witnessed a decline beginning from last November.
The state has lost 28 persons to the disease since its emergence.
Apart from Ekiti State’s 364 cases, the breakdown of the new cases reported for other states by the NCDC for 21 and 22 July indicated that Lagos has 62; Rivers, 58; Delta, 27; FCT, 22; Oyo, 19; Cross River, 16; Abia, 14; Kano, 12; Bayelsa, 11; Nasarawa, 8; Gombe,3; Plateau, 2 and Bauchi, 1.
Nigeria has so far recorded 260,339 COVID-19 cases, which included 3,147 deaths and 253,566 discharged patients.
Filani harped on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, saying, “vaccination remains the most effective means of curbing this pandemic and we encourage all residents of the state to get vaccinated. As at today, 384,730 persons are fully vaccinated. However, this is not sufficient to achieve herd immunity, hence the re-enforcement of preventive protocols”.
As part of measures to combat spread of COVID-19, Filani said: “The state has trained and deployed over 80 mobile vaccination teams and 177 health facility-based teams across all local government areas in the state. Citizens are encouraged to visit the vaccination post nearest to them to get their complete COVID-19 jabs.
“The state government will continue to engage with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other partners to ensure constant availability and accessibility of vaccines while heightening surveillance activities to ensure quick detection and mitigation of the spread of COVID-19″.