The Federal Government has placed Lagos, the federal capital territory, FCT, and five other states on the red alert as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic announces its earnest presence in the country.
The placement of the alert became imperative particularly following the confirmation of a rise in the Delta Variant of the virus. The variant, said to be more deadly and easily transmitted, is reported to have resulted in a significant rise in the number of infections and hospitalization in the country.
In a statement by Secretary to the Government of the Federation who doubles as head of the covid-19 Presidential Steering Committee, Boss Mustapha, the states are Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and the FCT.
The committee warned that all other states must, of necessity, up their state of preparedness and continue to enforce all existing protocols given the reputation of the new variant to spread with deadly and greater ease.
“These steps are critical as we begin to see worrisome early signs of increasing cases in Nigeria. The PSC shall continue to minimize the risk of importation of Variants of Concern into the country by strengthening surveillance at all Points of Entry, POE, enforcing extant quarantine protocols and sustaining the current restrictive measures against travellers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa,” Mustapha said.
With particular reference to the Eid-el-Kabir, Mustapha urged all state governments and religious leaders to pay special attention to the potential for a wider spread of the virus during large gatherings, a reason all existing protocol must be adhered to, very strictly.
“The PSC, therefore, recommends the following preventive measures for a safe Eid-el-Kabir celebration: Decentralization of Eid Prayer to neighbourhood Friday Prayer Mosques, outdoor, suspend Durbar activities and observe limitations of all Indoor gatherings. Nigerians and all residents are reminded to stay safe, always,” Mustapha appealed.