On Monday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed that with a 500 per cent increase in cases recorded within two weeks, the country had entered the fourth wave of COVID-19, Top Naija reports.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the national public health institute for Nigeria. It is a federal government agency under the Federal Ministry of Health, with its headquarters in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC disclosed this in a statement by the Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa and made it available to journalists on Monday evening.
The centre disclosed this just as data obtained from the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency showed that 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory had started administering booster shots of COVID-19.
Commenting on the increasing COVID-19 cases, the NCDC advised Nigerians to be cautious during the Yuletide season.
The centre in the statement by its Director-General stated, “Nigeria has recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country caused by the Delta and Omicron variants. As of December 19, 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The country is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave. The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as NCDC and its partners, are therefore intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of the risk we face and need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus.
“The response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Therefore, individuals, families and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures. Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.
“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission. The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation. We strongly recommend outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, and provision of hand-washing facilities or hand sanitisers. Please make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The government has made these vaccines available for all eligible citizens and booster doses available for those previously vaccinated.
“We urge Nigerians to take all precautions necessary to ensure we and our loved ones live to celebrate many more events and festivities”.
On its part, the NPHCDA stated that 3.7 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
The Federal Government through the Executive Director of the NPHCDA , Dr Faisal Shuaib, had on December 9, 2021 announced that the citizens would be free to take booster shots to activate more protection against the Omicron variant.
Scientists and other experts across the world had expressed fears over the potency of vaccines against the new variant and had advised the administration of the boosters.
According to the NPHCDA data, the Federal Capital Territory and 17 states includes Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi,Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto states have administered booster shots
The states yet to begin administration of booster shots include Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-ibom, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states.
As at Monday, December 20, 2021 a total of 4,149,032 of the total eligible population have been fully vaccinated which represents 3.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, the National Universities Commission has said it has agreed to the need to transmit letters to universities to ensure the establishment of mass vaccination sites in institutions across the country.
This is as the institution regulatory body said it would facilitate a zoom meeting with vice chancellors, directors of health and provosts of colleges of health early in 2022 to achieve sensitization and upscaling of research collaborations.
The NUC executive secretary, Professor Abubakar Abdulrasheed was quoted to have said this in the NUC weekly bulletin.
According to the bulletin, the NUC boss was said to have met with the Executive Director of the NPHCDA on the need to collaborate to ensure success of mass vaccination campaigns in universities across the country.
“In line with the NPHCDA commitment to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine uptake, the agency has put in place plans for the establishment of mass vaccination sites across the country”, Shuaib was quoted to have said.