COVID-19 cases have continued to soar in Nigeria as 154 more infections were confirmed in the country on Tuesday, raising further concerns about the third wave of the pandemic which was first detected in the West African nation in February 2020.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the agency spearheading the fight against the pandemic, announced the latest figures in its daily update late Tuesday.
Lagos State which was the epicentre of infections during the first and second waves of the disease continues to record a higher number of cases amid concerns by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Of the number of confirmed infections for the day under review, Lagos State had 119 new cases, while Akwa Ibom followed with 11 more persons contracting the disease.
Six more states recorded new cases. Rivers had six, Oyo reported five more infections, Ekiti – 4, Ogun – 4, FCT – 2, Gombe – 2, and Kwara – 1.
As of the time of this report, Nigeria has confirmed 168,867 cases while 164,623 have been discharged. However, 2,125 people have died so far from COVID-19 complications.
Although Nigeria detected the first case of the deadly Delta COVID-19 variant about a week ago, the NCDC report does not indicate if the new cases are that of the new strain.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier raised alarm about the strain, saying it had led to high hospitalisations and deaths in more than 100 nations where it has been confirmed.
“Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of the case, which are translating into high numbers of hospitalisations and death,” the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, told a media briefing on COVID-19 at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva on Monday.
Despite fears over the spike in cases and the confirmation of the highly contagious Delta strain, many Nigerians have abandoned safety protocols recommended by health authorities.
Transporters are carrying passengers in full capacity. In public places across the country, Nigerians have jettisoned the adoption of safety measures such as washing hands and the use of face masks. Most state governments have also relaxed or stopped the enforcement of the protocols.