- State records 60,202 confirmed cases, 357 deaths
- ’Test positivity rate is 6.6 per cent’ •Oyo records Delta variant
By Oyebola Owolabi and Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
The Lagos State Government yesterday alerted residents to the presence of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the alert had become necessary in view of the “steep” rise in the number of positive cases of the virus.
Like Lagos State, Oyo enjoined the public to be more cautious as the state has recorded the deadlier strain of the virus known as Delta variant.
In a statement yesterday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State had as of July 7, recorded 60,202 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 357 registered deaths.
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 per cent at the end of June to its current rate of 6.6 per cent as at July 8.”
Sanwo-Olu, who noted that only one per cent of the state’s population of more than 20 million had been vaccinated, said managing the latest wave was the responsibility of “all of us”.
He specifically reminded churches, mosques and groups to adhere strictly to the existing COVID -19 protocols, including not having more than 50 persons in an enclosed place.
The governor also warned that in-bound travellers that fail to comply with isolation protocols risked prosecution.
The statement by Sanwo-Olu partly reads: “Whilst both the Federal and state governments have a huge role to play in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibility of managing the third wave ultimately belongs to all of us.
“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 per cent at the end of June to its current rate of 6.6 per cent as of July 8.
“The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased from an average of one to six per cent. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us. As you all know, Lagos has been the epicentre of the pandemic since the start, and the way we manage it here has a significant impact and reverberating effect on the national outlook and outcomes. So, Nigeria is counting on us in Lagos to be resolute in our stand against the virus.
“We will continue to test aggressively. We will also focus on sequencing the samples we are collecting to ensure we are detecting and keeping track of the different variants in circulation. It is only by testing and sequencing comprehensively that we can collect the data required for informed decision-making.
“Greater vigilance is required at this time in our Churches and Mosques, and other places of religious worship. Even as we are pleased that religious houses are now open for worship, we must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the illusion that all is now back to normal. This is especially critical as Sallah approaches in a little over a week from now. The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the Coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
“For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols. Compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 percent occupancy in enclosed spaces.
“As of today, the percentage of residents who have received two doses of the vaccine stands at a mere 1 per cent. We recognise this is not adequate, and given the imminent third wave, and our priority to reduce COVID-19 related deaths, we are exploring all avenues possible to ramp up access to vaccination to reach our herd immunity target of at least 60 percent vaccination coverage of the population of Lagos State.
“We are confident that we will be getting a second batch of vaccines very soon, to kick-start the second phase of vaccinations.
“Lagos State will continue to work with all our partners, across government and the private sector, to ensure that we permanently triumph over this virus. We will not rest until this is achieved.
“Without the cooperation of the public at large, we stand the risks of losing both lives and livelihood, on a devastating scale. Therefore, I would like to once again reiterate that this is not the time to get tired or complacent. Instead, we must be re-energised to battle this invisible and seemingly relentless enemy.
“We must not be demoralised by this; we must instead resolve that we will not leave any stone unturned in our bid to effectively mitigate the third wave of this pandemic in Lagos State.”
The governor explained that out of the 60,202 confirmed cases , 55,135 recovered while 770 are currently being managed.
About 4,382 patients, according to him, were admitted into COVID-19 care centres.
He added that there are 30 accredited testing centers – 26 private and four public health laboratories.
In Oyo State, the Incident Manager and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, confirmed the discovery of the Delta variant of the virus.
Ladipo said the public needed to take extra caution and consistently apply all protocols released by the task force.
His advice was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa.
The statement partly reads: “The Task Force wishes to notify the general public of the isolation of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in the state.
“This strain has been associated with high transmission, increase the severity of infection and outcomes.
“As such, this is to warn that the virus is still very much within the society.”
The statement also asked all in-bound travellers to always isolate for seven days and submit themselves for tests.
The statement added: “The ‘Own Your Action’ (OYA) initiative of the State Government should be seriously considered by adhering to the guidelines of wearing nose and mouth masks in public gatherings, washing of hands with soap and water and use of hand sanitisers, among others.
The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force hereby appeals to the good people of Oyo State to comply with these and other advisories as they apply to individuals and organisations.
“It would be appreciated if all in-bound travelers from overseas maintain the mandatory seven-day isolation and subsequent testing before mingling with the populace.
“In addition, residents are enjoined to seek medical care and avail the opportunity of free testing whenever there’s any feeling of unwellness.
“Vigilance on the parts of both the government and the people will surely go a long way in stemming the transmission of this disease within the state.”