Amid rising cases of COVID-19 infections across the country, the Federal Government, Thursday, said it was not considering a fresh lockdown.
Speaking at the weekly ministerial briefing organised at the State House in Abuja, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the number of cases were not threatening enough for a lockdown to be considered.
On Wednesday night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 790 cases of new COVID-19 infections. The figure was the highest in about six months, a sharp increase from the 610 cases it registered a day earlier.
A recent surge in infections has been partly attributed to the Delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious and deadlier.
The NCDC noted that states were struggling to curb the spread of the Delta variant, with the situation becoming alarming, particularly in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Oyo states.
Due to the spread, NCDC observed that Lagos set a new record for COVID-19 on Wednesday with 574 cases, and infections in Rivers State jumped to 83; Ondo, 38; Ogun, 31; Oyo, 23; Delta, 10; FCT, nine; Ekiti, seven; Edo, six; and Osun, four. It also disclosed that the country’s active cases had soared to 11,500.
In the meantime, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), has been activated to coordinate the national response activities.
The NCDC warned that the Delta strain had shown its efficacy in infecting younger people as against the older strains of the virus.
Citing the effects of lockdowns on the economy, Ehanire said countries have been a bit circumspect in the decision to impose a total lockdown as was seen at the beginning of the outbreak last year.
He added that administrators would rather employ precision lockdowns on specific areas of the country that have come under threat.
“There’s no more generalised lockdown. So many countries do what we call precision lockdown. So that everybody will not be affected and there will not be too much damage to the economy and social life. And we are not at the level yet where we are feeling that threat to do any lockdown. We do not have that on the table right now.”
AS part of efforts to mitigate the effect of the third wave of COVID-19 in Lagos, the state government, through its Incident Command Structure, has fully activated 10 COVID Oxygen Treatment and Sample Collection Centres as well as 20 local council-based COVID Sample Collection sites.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this yesterday while reviewing reports of operations, noted that the centres which were established during the hit of the first and second waves of the pandemic, have been reinvigorated to provide swift oxygen therapy to residents who require it and easy access to COVID-19 testing for citizens who needed to test for Coronavirus infection.
He explained that the 10 COVID Oxygen Treatment and Sample Collection Centres were established as dual purpose facilities and strategically located in 10 local councils with a high burden of infection cases to provide oxygen support and serve as COVID sample collection base to residents.
“The reactivation of these centres and sites are part of the strategies adopted in response to the recent increase in COVID-19 infection occasioned by the third wave of new strains,” Abayomi said, adding that the state government is doing all within its powers to ramp up testing and improve on its management of Coronavirus cases by providing citizens with support and seamless access to quality and efficient care services to lower the curve of third wave and prevent the infection from further spreading.
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