According to the latest statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections as the country recorded 1,332 infections, more than 3,000 active cases and three fatalities between July 16 and 23.
The agency had predicted that the country may face the fifth wave of the pandemic urging Nigerians to comply with the public health safety measures.
The latest data from NCDC revealed that with the new cases, the infection toll stands at 260,339 while the fatality toll now stands at 3,147, as a backlog of two deaths were reported for July 7 and another case reported on July 23.
Although the NCDC did not specifically state what variant is driving the surge, it revealed in its situation report for weeks 25 and 26, spanning June 20 to July 3, testing in the country had decreased by over 50 per cent.
It added that, “There is an increase in the number of inbound and outbound passengers in the week under review.
“For inbound international travelers, in weeks 25 and 26, 28 persons tested positive out of 858 travelers tested.
“Only 17 out of the 904 persons tested in weeks 23 and 24 tested positive.
“On the other hand, 4,447 outbound international travelers were tested, out of which 133 persons tested positive, compared to 52 out of 3,987 that tested positive in weeks 23 and 24.”
The disease control also stated that Lagos State recorded the highest infection in the past few weeks.
The NCDC said, “Of the 478 infections recorded between July 13 and 18, Lagos State topped the chart with 325 cases, while Rivers State in the South-south and the FCT in the North-central followed with 60 and 29 infections respectively.
“Similarly, from July 19 to 20, Lagos State reported 138 out of 235 confirmed cases which were recorded in five other states and the FCT.
“On July 23, Ekiti State, another South-western state displaced Lagos State from the top spot, as it accounted for 364 infections out of 619 reported cases for July 21 and 22. Lagos State, however came, came second on the log with 62 cases, followed by Rivers State with 58.”
The Ekiti State government however decided to reintroduce the cautionary protocols as 74 persons were isolated during the week due to the infection. The NCDC noted that reported cases from Ekiti State include a backlog of 300 cases from August 2021 and 64 for June 2022.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, who confirmed the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths around the world in a statement on Friday said, “In the past six weeks, the global weekly number of reported cases has almost doubled. As the virus continues to circulate widely, new and dangerous variants are emerging, including some which reduce the efficacy of vaccines.”
Ghebreyesus during a virtual media briefing held in the same week under review noted that the latest surge in infection is driven by the Omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the virus.
The latest WHO statistics show that as of July 24, 569,629,979 infections and 6,383,438 deaths have been recorded globally since the pandemic outbreak in 2020.