The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, has expressed concern as well as warning that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases is a clear sign that the country is sliding to a third wave of the pandemic.
Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General, of NIMR expressed this position in a statement at the weekend in Lagos.
He said: “We are beginning to see an increase in the rate of positive results in Lagos; and that should be a signal that we are entering the third wave.
“I will not say we have entered yet but it is an opportunity for us to prepare; because a lot of Nigerians have lowered their guards; and no longer comply with all the COVID-19 guidelines.”
Salako observed noticeable increase in the number of cases at testing centres, disclosing that, “Five weeks ago, we saw one or two positives per day in over 200 samples tested per week; two weeks ago it jumped into 13 and the following week it increased to 30.
“We don’t want to have the kind of experience countries like India are going through, so it is not only in the hand of the government alone but also in the hand of the people to do the needful,” .
According to the DG, the Delta variant was known to be more deadly and caused more infections and transmit from people to people faster than other variants.
“The nature of the COVID-19, Delta variant, is that it affects people easily and with that knowledge, we should preempt that.
“We must also get our isolation centres ready and there should be retraining of staff in getting ready for a likely third wave.
“More importantly, we should expedite the process of the purchase of our vaccine to vaccinate the large majority of Nigerians and I am aware that the government is doing a lot about that,” he said.