With no fatalities, Nigeria recorded 332 new coronavirus infections between June 25 and 29, 2022.
While Nigeria is experiencing a significant increase in the number of infections, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also raised an alarm that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in 110 countries, causing overall global cases to increase by 20 per cent.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, disclosed this on Wednesday during a virtual media briefing on its official Facebook account, noting that the latest surge in infection is driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the virus.
He added that there’s a rise in fatalities in three of the six WHO regions even as the global figure remains relatively stable.
Nigeria’s COVID-19 update
The latest statistics released Thursday morning by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that Lagos State, the epicentre of the disease, accounted for more than 50 per cent of the new infections with 251 cases.
The data shows that the new cases have raised Nigeria’s infection toll to 257,290, while the fatality toll still stands at 3,144.
The NCDC also noted on its website that over 3,000 people are still down with the illness while a total of 250,229 people successfully treated and discharged so far in Nigeria since the disease outbreak two years ago.
Apart from Lagos State, a further breakdown of the latest cases shows that Rivers State in the South-south recorded 50 cases, followed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with 21 cases.
Kano State in the North-west reported seven cases and followed by Delta and Oyo States with two and a single case respectively.
The disease centre added that eight states: Bayelsa, Ekiti, Kaduna, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau and Sokoto reported no cases within the time frame.
WHO speaks on COVID-19
Speaking on the increase in COVID-19 cases, Mr Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is changing, but it’s not over.
“We have made progress, but it’s not over yet. Our ability to track the virus is under threat as reporting and genomic sequences are declining, meaning it’s becoming harder to track Omicron and analyse future emerging variants,” he said.
He warned that the ability to track the virus is under threat globally as reporting and genomic sequences were declining.
“This is feasible, WHO continues to convene scientists and researchers and there has been a lot of research into this virus and understanding immunology overall,” the WHO chief said.
Global vaccination coverage
On vaccination, Mr Ghebreyesus said: “We are close to the midpoint of the year, which is the point at which WHO had called on all countries to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population.”
Reviewing the global progress on vaccination, he stated that in the past 18 months, more than 12 billion vaccines have been distributed around the world, and 75 per cent of the world’s health workers and over-60s are now vaccinated.
He also cited that the Lancet estimates that 20 million lives have been saved because of vaccines but on “the flip side, hundreds of millions of people, including 10s of millions of health workers and older people in lower-income countries remain unvaccinated.”
“With only 58 countries hitting the 70 per cent target, some have said low-income countries can’t make it,” he said.
Explaining further, he said the unvaccinated are more vulnerable to future waves of the virus, adding that “the hoarding of vaccines by rich and manufacturing countries was the major barrier to access vaccines last year.”
The WHO chief described the development as the wavering “political commitment to getting vaccines out to people – and challenges of disinformation”, which are thwarting the pace of inoculations at the national level.
The WHO boss also called for the vaccination of the at-risk groups, to be vaccinated and boosted, as soon as possible.
To prevent the severity of the diseases, he said the world should target 100 per cent vaccination of older people and health workers as well as strengthen the world of immunity against COVID-19.
“In all countries, 100 per cent of interest groups should be vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible for the general population.
“It also makes sense to keep strengthening that wall of immunity, which helps lessen the severity of the disease and lowers the risk of long or post COVID conditions.
“Even relatively mild cases are disruptive and damaging, keeping children out of school and adults from work, which causes further economic and supply chain disruption,” he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999