The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has warned that Nigeria stands the risk of more COVID-19 infections if people continue to let down their guards.
He warned on Wednesday that people are getting relaxed but the country has truly entered the third wave.
According to him, the renewed wave of COVID-19 particularly the Delta variant is not peculiar to Nigeria as many other nations of the world are also battling the issue but people need to continue the practice of handwashing, using nose masks, and other non-pharmaceutical measures in order to reduce the chances of getting infected.
“Two things are responsible for the high cases of pandemic reported at the National Youth Service Corps camps,” Mohammed said in an interview with NAN.
“One is because of consistent testing that has been taking place in the camps. The truth of the matter is that if we ramp up testing today, there will be more cases.
“Second reason for the high cases is that people have actually let down their guards. We are no longer obeying non-pharmaceutical interventions such as washing of hands regularly with soap and water or sanitizing of hands when that (washing of hand) is not available.”
Generally, the Minister observed that there will be more cases if people continue to ignore the seriousness of the situation even as Nigeria continues to record more confirmed cases in the last few weeks.
He warned that the Delta variant is more dangerous than the early variants of the virus.
Mohammed noted however that the federal government through the presidential steering committee on COVID-19 will continue to ensure Nigerians remain safe by giving out national directives and also making the vaccines available.
He said “If over 4.2 million people have been lost to the virus world-wide and it is not abating. So we need to take more seriousness on the protocols around COVID-19 especially on non-pharmaceutical interventions,” he said.
“Some countries are even having the 4th and the 5th waves. It is not unique to Nigeria. Because when you look at the wave, like last Saturday it was 1000 plus and now going to 18000 cases in Nigeria.
“In the last four weeks in particular, we have witnessed so much increase even globally. So far, we are witnessing almost four million every week globally and from daily cases of about 540,000, we are now witnessing 570,000 daily worldwide.
“So really, Nigeria is already in the third wave and this case has been compounded by Delta variant. And we have identified the Delta variant in several states in Nigeria also.
“The Delta variant is about 60 times more potent than the wide COVID II. And it is very virulent, deadly and more easily transmissible.
“It appears that while the normal variant will take about seven days to manifest, the delta variant manifests within two days of being infected. So, it is a real challenge for us. But the PSC is not resting on its oars to ensure that they give out necessary directive to national response team to tackle this virus.”