Welcome to another roundup of the important Covid-19 developments in the country. In the days since the last roundup, the number of reported cases has been on a sporadic rise.
In the last 7 days, 659 people have tested positive for the virus across all states. Lagos State has been leading this surge in the number of cases and recently, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that many travellers from high-risk countries have refused to keep the Covid-19 protocols.
Read all about his announcement, the detection of the deadly delta variant, Unilag’s shutdown and all the other interesting news here.
Unilag shuts down campus, reverts to virtual classes
Students of the University of Lagos (UniLag) have been asked to vacate the campus by 12 noon on Thursday because of the rise in the number of coronavirus cases that have been reported lately.
Lectures are also expected to resume virtually on July 26 to ensure that academic activities are not disrupted. In a statement on Tuesday, the school authority reported that it has seen “an increase in the number of patients presented to the University of Lagos Medical Centre with flu-like symptoms which are similar to COVID-19.”
“The Medical Centre hereby assures all members of the University community, that all necessary actions in line with the Federal and Lagos State Government guidelines have been taken regarding this potential threat in our community.”
India’s Delta variant detected in Oyo state
The deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Oyo State with at least one person currently diagnosed with it. This was announced by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the State governor, Seyi Makinde.
He said “This strain has been associated with high transmission, increase in the severity of infection and outcomes. As such, this is to warn that the virus is still very much within society.”
He enjoined people to take advantage of the free testing facilities and to ensure they follow all existing preventive protocols against the virus.
This variant of the covid-19 has been classified as a virus of concern because of the fast rate at which it is transmitted from one person to another. The variant was first identified in India last year where it rapidly became the dominant one and led to the second wave of the outbreak in the region.
Lagos faces potential third wave as Delta variant is detected in the state
Lagos state is in danger of a potential third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, the infection rate has continued to rise in Nigeria, with Lagos state taking the lead. In a statement, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed that the Delta variant has also been introduced into the state by an incoming traveller.
He also highlighted the sharp increase in daily confirmed cases since the end of June. He said, “From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1% at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6% as of 8th of July 2021.”
Since the first Nigerian case was detected in 2020, Lagos state has increasingly maintained the highest number of cases. Only about 1% of its population has been fully vaccinated against the virus. To curb the spread, the state has issued guidelines for incoming travellers, especially those from red-list countries like India and Brazil to self-isolate and take tests so that they do not put others at risk.
However, Sanwo-Olu said that 15% of Lagos state arrivals from red-list nations had absconded and state authorities were unable to reach 18% of other incoming passengers. He said that while the state continues to explore other avenues for vaccine access, the travellers who flout covid-19 protocols risk being jailed, fined or deported.
Nigeria expects 41 million doses of vaccines
As the number of cases continues to rise, the federal government has disclosed that it expects to receive 41,282,770 vaccine doses by the end of September. The Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this in Tuesday’s press briefing.
The 41 million vaccines to expect will comprise Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
According to the Nigeria Medical Association, two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are about 92% effective against the Delta variant of the coronavirus that has now been detected in the country.
Shuaib further gave a breakdown of the number of each vaccine expected. He said, “We have received communication for the delivery of the following vaccine shipments in the coming months. 3,924,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca/Moderna by end of July or early August 2021 from the COVAX facility.”
The country will receive 3,930,910 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in August as well as 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Q3 from the COVAX facility. In addition to this, 29,850,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Jassen) COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in batches from the African Union Commission by September end.
The UK removes travel warnings against Nigeria
Nigeria has now been moved from UK’s warning list to its Amber list. In the latest update on its travel advice page, the UK said that it no longer advises against all but the necessary travels to Nigeria. This is based on its current assessment of the covid-19 risks associated with the African nation.
Being placed on the Amber list means that people entering the UK from Nigeria have to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in the U.K. with a test before arrival and 2 tests on days two and eight after arrival. People can also test out after the fifth day with a negative result.
..And that wraps up our roundup for the week, until next week, stay safe and mask up.
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