This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us. As you all know, Lagos has been the epicentre of the pandemic
The Lagos State Government has called on residents to be wary and as well be ready to battle the third wave of the COVID-19 as the state has started experiencing a potential surge of the pandemic with dire consequences.
The state government said the advice had become necessary in view of the “steep” rise in the number of positive cases of the coronavirus.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Sunday, said Lagos State had as of July 7, 2021, recorded 60,202 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 357 registered deaths.
Sanwo-Olu said: “From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1 percent at the end of June to its current rate of 6.6 percent as at July 8.”
The governor, who noted only one percent of the state’s population of more than 20 million had been vaccinated, said managing the latest wave was the responsibility of “all of us.”
He specifically reminded churches, mosques and groups to adhere strictly to the existing COVID -19 protocols, including not having more than 50 persons in an enclosed place.
Sanwo-Olu also warned that in-bound travellers that fail to comply with isolation protocols risked prosecution.
The statement reads: “The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased from an average of one to six percent.
“This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us. As you all know, Lagos has been the epicentre of the pandemic since the start, and the way we manage it here has a significant impact and reverberating effect on the national outlook and outcomes. So, Nigeria is counting on us in Lagos to be resolute in our stand against the virus.
“We will continue to test aggressively. We will also focus on sequencing the samples we are collecting to ensure we are detecting and keeping track of the different variants in circulation. It is only by testing and sequencing comprehensively that we can collect the data required for informed decision-making.
“Greater vigilance is required at this time in our Churches and Mosques, and other places of religious worship. Even as we are pleased that religious houses are now open for worship, we must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the illusion that all is now back to normal.
“This is especially critical as Sallah approaches in a little over a week from now. The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the Coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
“For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols. Compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitizers, and a maximum of 50 percent occupancy in enclosed spaces.
“As of today, the percentage of residents who have received two doses of the vaccine stands at a mere 1 per cent. We recognise this is not adequate, and given the imminent third wave, and our priority to reduce COVID-19 related deaths, we are exploring all avenues possible to ramp up access to vaccination to reach our herd immunity target of at least 60 percent vaccination coverage of the population of Lagos State.
“We are confident that we will be getting a second batch of vaccines very soon, to kick-start the second phase of vaccinations.
In the same vein, the Oyo State government also enjoined the public to be more cautious as the state recorded the deadlier strain of the virus known as Delta variant.
The Incident Manager and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre in Oyo State, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, confirmed the discovery of the Delta variant of the virus.
Ladipo said the public needed to take extra caution and consistently apply all protocols earlier released by the task force.
His advice was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa.
The statement partly reads: The Task Force wishes to notify the general public of the isolation of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in the state.
“This strain has been associated with high transmission, increase the severity of infection and outcomes.
“As such, this is to warn that the virus is still very much within the society.”
All inbound travellers were also asked to always isolate for seven days and submit themselves for tests, according to the statement.