The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday reported 497 new COVID-19 cases across some states in Nigeria, over the past 24-hours, with no deaths.
According to the data published by NCDC on their official social media handle, where they have been updating Nigerians on the trends of the dreaded virus, they stated that with the 497 new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Nigeria’s total COVID-19 case load as of Saturday 31st July 2021, now stands at 173,908 confirmed cases, while total discharged cases was put at 164,994 and total fatalities are at 2,149.
The 497 new COVID-19 cases as reported by NCDC, were recorded in 18 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The latest figure shows that COVID-19 cases recorded in Nigeria have risen for the second day in a row, data shows. Although the country recorded a total of 590 new cases of the virus on Friday, and now is recording 497, it still shows Nigeria is experiencing a spike in the new cases of the virus.
The 497 new COVID-19 cases as reported by NCDC shows the following distribution across the 18 states. But first, these cases NCDC said includes, cases reported for Kwara state for 30th July (58) and 31st July (15), and cases reported for Edo state are for 30th (12) and (2) for 31st July 2021), with no new cases reported from Sokoto and Kano States.
497 new COVID-19 cases:
About Delta Variant
Tagged SARS-CoV-2, and also known as lineage B.1.617.2., the delta variant has been described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the ‘most transmissible variant.’
According to the global body, the variant is responsible for the spike in about 98 countries across the world where it has been reported.
Speaking on June 26 on the variant, the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said a surge in cases translates to more hospitalisations, which he noted has continued to stretch healthcare workers and health systems “while putting more at risk of death.”
Mr Ghebreyesus acknowledged that new variants were expected, saying “that’s what viruses do, they evolve”. He said that by preventing transmission, “we can stem the emergence of variants”.
“It’s quite simple: more transmission, more variants. Less transmission, fewer variants,” he said, noting that it is even more urgent today to prevent transmission by consistently using public health and social measures along with vaccines.
Nigeria’s disease centre said it is not yet confirmed how the new variant reacts to the vaccines in circulation.
Is The Delta Variant Behind The Latest Increase In New cases?
Since the confirmation of the Delta variant in Nigeria by NCDC a few weeks ago, Nigeria has seen a spike in the cases of coronavirus in the country. The Mutant strains have arisen across the globe due to ongoing virus replication, and the health agency confirmed this in a statement earlier in the month.
NCDC in a statement had said that they detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2.
According to the agency, the variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
According to the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, “Although we have seen a low number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in the last eight weeks, it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful. The surge in cases in countries across the world and Africa is an important reminder of the risk we face. Please protect yourselves and the people you love by adhering to the known public health and social measures, getting vaccinated if you are eligible and getting tested if you have symptoms”.
The government has blamed the people for not following COVID-safe public health directives, adding that proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives. They also stated that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease. But millions of Nigerians are yet to take the vaccine, with concentration focus more on train projects than the lives of Nigerians.
Why Lagos has been the most affected State in Nigeria:
Significantly, the most affected state in Nigeria today is Lagos which is the most populated state in not just in Nigeria, put West Africa and possibly the entire continent of Africa.
An estimated 60-70% of travellers use the Lagos airport, and more families living in the state have relatives abroad, mostly in the UK, USA and Canada, and the state witness a high volume of travel to and from these and other countries on a daily.
The state also with the highest population, is the least tested state, and the least number of people who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.