#COVID19: Transmission Lowest Now In Nigeria – Official

The Nigerian government says preparations are on ground to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 sweeping across Africa.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said the current rate of COVID-19 transmission in Nigeria is the lowest level recorded since March 2020 when the pandemic struck.

“In the last two months, you would have seen a continuous decline in the number of positive COVID cases that we have found,” Ihekweazu said on Monday June 28, 2021 at a media briefing organised by the presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“Test positivity ratio at the moment is one percent; it means that about one in a hundred people tested turned out to be positive.”

Nigeria recorded only two COVID-19 cases out of 2,266,591 samples tested on Sunday, June 27, raising the total to 167,467 confirmed cases with a test positivity rate of one per cent as of Monday morning, according to data by the NCDC.

Ihekweazu said although the pandemic was waning, Nigerians must not let their guard down to prevent a resurgence of the infection.

“We’ve seen the numbers across the world. We’ve seen a very steep increase in cases in South Africa – close to 20,000 cases in a single day – and several other countries in that region, So, we have to learn lessons from them. They also had very low numbers a few weeks ago,” he said.

On Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also warned about a third wave of the pandemic in Africa,  attributing the current rise in COVID-19 cases in some countries to  the spread of new variants of the virus like the Delta variant.

Third wave

Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, said the government was taking decisive measures to prevent a third wave of the pandemic.

Ehanire said surveillance had been  strengthened at the points of entry to check importation, particularly of virulent covid strains.

The minister said that the distribution of PPEs and consumables was on track in  health facilities to assure health workers of their safety across the country.

He added that the government had ordered for 38 Oxygen Generation Plants for sufficiency as part of efforts to ensure system resilience in the case of a third wave.

“The Federal Government placed an order for 38 Oxygen Generation Plants, one in every State, with Lagos having two, due to its high burden,” the minister said.

“The Global Fund is funding the repair of 30 non-operational plants, and shall in addition build 12 new oxygen plants, to be so spatially located across Nigeria, in such a way that gaps in supply are filled and health facilities in Nigeria are able to access oxygen less than 100km from an oxygen plant.”

“Over 420 brand new oxygen cylinders are in order, to support distribution and availability, along with 12 liquid oxygen tanks of 10,000L each, with vaporizers, to be also stationed where we can refill cylinders easily.”

“This will expand access to oxygen nationwide and make it available to treat patients with other conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, sickle cell anaemia, among others.”

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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