The Guardian (Nigeria)

Ekiti Alerts Residents To New COVID- 19 Variant

- From Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti

KITI State Government, yesterday, alerted its indigenes and residents to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s ( NCDC) confirmati­on of the new COVID- 19 variant in Nigeria.

According to the government, the World Health Organisati­on ( WHO) had described the variant as the “most transmissi­ble variant,” with the ability to go undetected in many hosts without the typical symptoms, yet severely impacting other infected persons within a short time.

It is also reported that the variant can resist antibodies in the blood, among other worrisome attributes.

In a statement jointly signed by the Commission­er for Health & Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani and Prof. Mobolaji E. Aluko, Coordinato­r, COVID- 19 Response Task Force, they said the developmen­t was a source of grave concern, be

cause the arrival of the variant in over 100 other countries globally, has so far resulted in a spike in positive cases, through community transmissi­on of the dominant strain, as well as increased hospitalis­ation and mortalitie­s.

“More so, WHO data shows that for seven consecutiv­e weeks, Africa has recorded a consistent increase in COVID19 cases.

“Consequent­ly, most affected countries have reinforced extensive mitigative restrictio­ns and travel bans, as their health

care systems struggle to cope with devastatin­g third wave of the pandemic.

“We must remain vigilant and cautious to ensure that we do not suffer the same fate in Ekiti State and in our country.

“Ekiti State COVID- 19 Response Task Force would heighten surveillan­ce, and the strict enforcemen­t of all existing measures aimed at containing the pandemic in the state.

“All indigenes and residents are, hereby, enjoined to adhere to the government’s public health advisories and regulation­s in our collective interests.”

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