COVID-19: Taming the third wave amidst emergence of Delta variant in Nigeria
On the 23rd of July 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published her weekly epidemiological report with the editorial titled “Tips for preventing 3rd wave in Nigeria amidst global surge”. This was informed by the rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and hospitalisations amidst the emergence of highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant. While we had recorded cases in two digits in June and previous months, it is however becoming worrisome that we are beginning to witness hundreds of cases from July. On 4th August, 2021 alone, Nigeria recorded 747 confirmed cases (cumulative -176,011) with four (4) deaths (cumulative - 2,167).
To arrest the above trend, the NCDC has continued to intensify efforts with emphasis on public awareness to ensure Nigerians, including healthcare workers, take necessary preventive steps to protect themselves. Rapid Response Teams have also been deployed to support states’ response.
Given the continuous rising daily incidences and the need to expedite urgent public health actions across board, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 swiftly met on 2nd August 2021 and officially announced the 3rd wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria. Credited to the Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, “We are now in the third wave of #COVID-19 in Nigeria with an average test positivity of 6%”. He also attributed the timely detection of cases and emerging variants across states to improved epidemic intelligence (through effective surveillance system) and already established system for genetic sequencing respectively.
With the 3rd wave in the early phase, all hands must be on deck to nip it in the bud. The NCDC working closely with the states’ colleagues now share timely information for prompt decision making geared towards taming the current trend. To curtail the spread, the PSC has placed the six high burden states and the Federal Capital Territory on red alert. These are Lagos, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Kano and Plateau. This implies an urgent need for heightened surveillance as well as enforcement of COVID-19 protocol.
Again, the public is advised to continue to comply with all recommended infection prevention and control guidelines. We MUST continue to adhere to following measures to reduce the spread of the 3rd wave of COVID-19:
1. Consistent and correct wearing of face mask in public settings
2. Maintaining physical distance of at least 2 metres
3. Avoiding crowds or large gatherings
4. Regular hand hygiene
5. Mandatory temperature checks in public spaces
6. Immediately call your states specific hotlines in case you notice any of the symptoms of COVID-19
To this end, we urge Nigerians to continue to take responsibility by strictly adhering to the above public health and social measures. We also encourage states not currently on red alert to remain cautious and compliant due to the high transmissibility of the virus.
Summary of Incidents
1. Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports
2. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only
3. Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data
4. CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed
5. Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory