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COVID-19 Delta variant: FG places six states on ‘red alert’ to curb imminent disease spread

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The federal government has put six States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on red alert as part of the preventive measures against a third wave of the pandemic.

The States are Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and the FCT.

The Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 disclosed this in a statement signed by its chairman and secretary to the government, Boss Mustapha.

The Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 also recommended the suspension of all Sallah activities in the affected six states as well as centralized eid gatherings as part of efforts to reduce the spread of the Delta variant recently discovered in parts of the country.

The task force also warned that all States of the Federation should heighten their state of preparedness and continue to enforce all protocols put in place, given “the renowned greater ease of spread of the Delta variant.

“These steps are critical as we begin to see worrisome early signs of increasing cases in Nigeria.

“The PSC shall continue to minimize the risk of importation of Variants of Concern into the country by strengthening Surveillance at all Points of Entry (POE), enforcing extant quarantine protocols, and sustaining the current restrictive measures against travelers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa.

“The PSC felicitates with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. It, however, urges all State Governments and Religious Leaders to be mindful of the potential for the wider spread of the virus during large gatherings.

“The PSC, therefore, recommends the following preventive measures for a safe Eid-el-Kabir celebration: a) Decentralization of Eid Prayer to neighborhood Friday Prayer Mosques (outdoor); b) Suspension of Durbar activities; and c) Observation of limitations on all Indoor gatherings.

Delta variant 

The Nigerian government last week announced that a case of the dangerous delta variant has been recorded in a traveler in the country.

Since then, the infection figures are climbing with Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve and coronavirus epicenter bearing the brunt. About 70 out of the 123 COVID-19 infections recorded in the West African nation on Saturday were from Lagos.

The 123 new cases on Saturday raised the number of confirmed cases in the country to 169,329.

Meanwhile, no new death was recorded from the disease on Saturday as the fatality toll stands at 2,126, an update by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed.

The NCDC data also noted that a total of 164,672 recoveries have so far been made across the country while more than 2,000 cases are said to be active.

Nigeria has tested over 2.3 million samples for COVID-19 out of the country’s roughly 200 million population.

Almost four million Nigerians have received their first doses of the coronavirus vaccines.

The World Health Organization has warned that Rich nations are sharing vaccines with low-income countries too slowly to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of Covid, risking millions of lives.

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