The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says isolation centres for persons sick with COVID-19 are starting to fill up in some states.
Ifedayo Adetifa, NCDC director-general, said this on Thursday while speaking on AIT’s Kakaaki programme.
Speaking on the programme, Adetifa said the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant and appears to have a shorter incubation period.
“It is responsible for the increase that we’re seeing in COVID-19 cases, but it is also important to note that even as that is happening, the existing Delta variant is still persisting. It’s either slowly being replaced or has already been replaced by Omicron,“ he said.
In addition to the wave, isolation centres and treatment centres in some of our cities, especially those that typically have the highest burden, are already beginning to fill up.”
On Monday, the NCDC said Nigeria is currently experiencing its fourth wave of COVID-19 and has recorded a 500 percent surge in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country.
Speaking on the reluctance of Nigerians to receive the vaccine, the director-general said by continuing in the disbelief of the existence of COVID-19 and not adhering to public health safety measures, or getting vaccinated, “we’re allowing transmission to continue in an unmitigated fashion which means that there’s a risk, even with moderate and severe cases, our health care system may get overwhelmed”.
If it’s beginning to look like our health system is about to be overwhelmed, then government may be forced to put in place more stringent measures which may include restrictions on gathering, and even curfews,” he said.
Addressing concerns by Nigerians that expired vaccines have been administered, the director-general said the “federal government does not allow the use of expired vaccines” and appealed to Nigerians to get vaccinated.
“We have in place very robust mechanisms to allow us to retrieve vaccines from the system when they’re near expiring,” he said.