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Nigerian govt threatens severe measures over surge in COVID-19 cases

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The Federal Government on Monday threatened to impose severe measures in response to the “alarming increase” in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Boss Mustapha, who stated this at the committee’s weekly media briefing in Abuja, added that Lagos State now counts for over 50 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the country.

He said about four million new cases and 100,000 deaths had been recorded across the world in the last one week.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stressed that countries in West African are beginning to see the 3rd wave of COVID-19 with Nigeria recording about 500 cases daily.

He said: “Our Test Positivity Ratio has increased to about 6 percent. This is worrisome and shows that we are not out of the woods yet.

“It is no more news that the Delta variant has made its way into Nigeria. The PSC is particularly concerned about the situation in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, FCT and Plateau States as this variant has made way into these states and accounts for the rising cases in these states and across the nation.

“Lagos alone accounts for over 50 percent of the number of cases. This development calls for great caution because the virus is very virulent and raging in so many other countries.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt charges INEC, parties on COVID-19 protocols at gatherings

“We need to test more and detect early enough so that people who have contracted this virus can be treated early. I am pleased to announce that we currently have 143 molecular laboratories in the country where we can go and test. These comprise 54 private and 89 public facilities.”

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu, who was also at the briefing, warned Nigerians on the greater increase in the number of confirmed cases.

He urged the citizens to comply with all preventive protocols.

The NCDC chief said: “I am surprised that the numbers didn’t even increase earlier given how relaxed we have become.

“The data shows that right now in Lagos one in 10 people test is positive. The same applies to Akwa Ibom State where 80 percent of the recently confirmed cases are of the Delta variant. This means that transmission is high and we have to double our efforts.”

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