Experts predict high infection rate as Nigerians shy away from protocols in fun places

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Medical experts have warned that Nigeria risks a further rise in COVID-19 cases following a complete disregard for safety protocols at crowded entertainment venues, including beaches, during New Year’s celebrations.

Prominent virologists, who spoke to our correspondents in separate interviews, lambasted state and federal governments for failing to enforce safety rules and holding violators to account.

Experts said this as the federal government said it distributed 400,000 COVID-19 test kits in the past week as the virus recovery rate fell 73.2%.

On Sunday, Lagos’ beaches, including Oniru, Eleko and Elegushi, were crowded with people seeking entertainment that didn’t respect safety rules.

Additionally, unlike the Presidential Steering Committee’s directive on COVID-19, which limits gatherings in religious centers to 50%, crossover services at most worship centers were jam-packed.

In Lagos, government officials were not there to enforce safety regulations at crowded entertainment venues and worship centers despite the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Monday, a professor of medical virology at the University of Maiduguri, Professor Marycelin Baba; a former president of the Association of Public Health Physicians, Prof Tanimola Akande and Associate Professor of Virology at Osun State University, Dr Waheed Sule has warned Nigerians of uncontrolled gatherings in fun places, beaches and non-compliance with public health measures would lead to an increase in cases and fuel community transmission.

Experts also predicted that more individuals would be infected with the Omicron variant due to the high transmissibility of the variant.

Speaking in an interview with The punchProfessor Baba said that the omicron variant has the ability to spread faster than the other variants.

She said, “One thing about omicron is its ability to spread faster. This can only mean that more people will contract the virus after testing season. The sad part is that most of them won’t know because they will refuse to be tested.

“The same group of Nigerians who refuse to follow public health protocols are the same Nigerians who will also refuse to be vaccinated. Nigerians must see the need to abide by these rules, from now on we are likely to see a huge increase in cases and most of these cases would be attributed to the holiday seasons, especially when people start returning to their respective bases. .

Former President of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria Akande in a separate interview with The punch agree with Professor Baba. He said, “It has an implication. We know that the Omicron spreads faster than the other variants. The whole world has been wary of the holiday period because of a lot of travel and fun. The number of people who will fall with omicron will be so high.

“The best is to follow the instructions. We should have been used to these instructions. The government needs to test people more because if they test people more, infected people will know about it, but because we don’t test enough people feel like they don’t have it, so they infect others . This is the challenge.

Additionally, an associate professor of virology at Osun State University, Dr Sule Waheed, said, “Failure to follow protocols has implications. There is little the government can do to prevent people from coming together. It is very difficult for the government to enforce protocols because Nigerians will never listen.

“We have heard news of the execution, but I have yet to see any execution or arrest. People have to understand that if they cannot comply with the measures, they have to stay at home. ”

We should expect a further increase at any time – Virologist

For his part, a medical virologist from Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, Dr Kolawole Oladipo, said Nigerians’ neglect of COVID-19 protocols will lead to a further rise.

Oladipo, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, said it was unfortunate that many Nigerians had neglected non-pharmaceutical preventive measures.

“Honestly we should expect more increase anytime Nigerians don’t take COVID-19 seriously anymore. They neglected all forms of non-pharmaceutical preventive measures. It is not too good for our health care system.

“Although I expected the securities agencies to enforce the General Population Law as ordered by the President last year. There needs to be a scapegoat for individuals, institutions and organizations. It is also necessary to set up a working group for this application, ”he said.

In addition, the chairman of the Ondo State Interministerial Committee on COVID-19, Professor Adesegun Fatusi, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said that disobeying the COVID-19 protocols would worsen the spread. virus.

He said: “This pattern of behavior is a danger to all of us because it further increases the potential for community spread. This model can also contribute to the emergence of new strains. It is unfortunate that many Nigerians have chosen this careless behavior. This can further exacerbate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and its burden. ”

Recovery rate drops 73.2% as NCDC distributes 400,000 test kits in 36 states

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control said the country has started to see a drop in the recovery rate from coronavirus disease.

The center also said it distributed 400,000 test kits across the federation in the past week as part of its review of the ongoing national COVID-19 testing strategy.

This was revealed in the weekly epidemiological report published by the NCDC and obtained by one of our correspondents in Abuja.

According to the data, while the number of confirmed cases continued to increase on a weekly basis, there was a decline in the number of recoveries as the NCDC reported that, “ In week 51, the number of cases released decreased to 1,013 from 3,791 in week 50, 37 deaths were reported in the past week. Analysis of the recovery figure had meant a 73.2 percent decrease in the recovery rate.

Regarding the positivity rate of travelers, the NCDC noted that there had been a significant increase in the number of positive travelers. He said: “In week 51, the number of inbound international travelers tested was 9,398, of which 668 (7.1%) were positive versus 522 (6.3%) (of 8,306 tested) during of week 50.

“In week 51, the number of international travelers abroad tested was 10,233 of which 1,864 (18.2%) were positive versus 1,464 (17.4%) (out of 8,421 tested) during of week 50. Which totaled 2,532 passengers in one week compared to the previous week when 1,986 passengers tested positive.

Regarding its COVID-19 response, the NCDC said, “Ongoing review and update of the national COVID-19 testing strategy, continued distribution of 400,000 RDT kits to 36 states for increased testing, said donated 1,250 and 1,000 RDT kits to the National Clinical Assembly and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency respectively.

“Ongoing distribution of RDT kits to Lagos State Biobank laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, Yaba and Disease Control Center, distributed laboratory consumables, PPE and IPC products to 36 ministries of health and tertiary health care facilities, including the CTF in the month of December ”.

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