At least 13 cases of the new strain of COVID-19 first reported in South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) have been found in Nigeria.
Six of the cases were discovered in the last one week, according to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha.
Speaking at Monday’s briefing of the task force in Abuja, he affirmed that the PTF is not letting up in its aggressive testing of citizens for COVID-19.
He appealed to state governments to ensure that the laboratories established in their areas are put to maximum use so as to reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory.
Mustapha said: “The PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance. A total of 13 B117 variant strain have so far been detected in Nigeria.
“Six out of these numbers were detected in the last one week and they all came out of samples collected between November and January.
“Testing is still being aggressively pursued as a viable strategy and the PTF shall continue to appeal to not just the citizens to get tested but call on sub-national entities to ensure that capacity of the laboratories that have been established within their jurisdictions be fully maximised.
“This will help reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory and the attendant lengthy turnaround time for test results.”
The PTF boss warned that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed by Mr President is now fully operational, saying: “The PFT wishes to reiterate that the provisions contained in the Regulations are lucid and are applicable to all entities (public or private sectors).
“I, therefore, wish to remind all MDAs of the strong need to deploy technology for meetings, retreat, etc and to avoid large gatherings that may violate the Regulations. If such plans are on-going, they should be modified forthwith.
“The PTF considers the violation of protocols very seriously and urges international passengers arriving in Nigeria to ensure compliance with the international travel protocols and observe the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures while in-Country.”
While also assuring that the PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance, Mustapha gave the national snapshot for COVID-19 as at 7 February 2021 to stand at 139,748 cases; active cases, 24,556 (17%); discharged, 113,525 (81.2%); deaths, 1,667 (1.2%) and the total tests being 1,398,630.
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More Nigerians have continued to test positive for COVID-19 and more deaths have been recorded from its complications, Tribune Online analysis shows.
However, Nigeria recorded fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths when compared to the previous week. It also recorded increased recoveries during the same period…COVID-19: B117 variant spreading in Nigeria ― PTF
COVID-19: B117 variant spreading in Nigeria ― PTF