The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to be the dominant strain of the virus in the country, and encouraged people to take vaccines to reduce risk of infection.
NCDC Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa, made the appeal on Monday at the bi-weekly national briefing on COVID-19, in Abuja.
Represented by Yahaya Disu, head of the centre’s risk communication, Adetifa said the Delta variant has overwhelmingly dominated the isolation centres in the country, adding that countries in Europe have started to reintroduce restrictions and some have resulted in national demonstrations and unrest.
“Cases have risen sharply in Austria, Netherlands, U.K, Germany and Italy. We must note that these are regions with considerably high vaccination rates, however, they are seeing surges in COVID-19, leading to make vaccinations mandatory to counter transmission of the virus which unvaccinated persons pose,” he said.
“I mention these to inform you that COVID-19 is still causing havoc in other countries and we must not take our situation for granted.
“Rather, we must continue to use preventive measures, safeguard our health and take responsibility. We can work together as we have done in this long-haul response to COVID-19.”
Adetifa appealed to people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they had not, noting that it was safe, effective and would reduce the occurrences of severe diseases and deaths, adding that laboratories are still available for COVID-19 testing, even as he asked Nigerians to get tested if they feel COVID-19 symptoms.
“Do not assume symptoms may be malaria or a typical cold. We are working to strengthen COVID-19 risk communications using innovative and targeted means by listening to the public and responding effectively,” he said.
“The team is currently collaborating on the development of a COVID-19 response sustainability plan and an intra action review to strategise on ways to reinvigorate the response.”