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COVID-19: Ekiti canvasses safety protocols as NCDC confirms SARS-CoV-2 virus

Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has appealed to residents to maintain all COVID-19 safety protocols as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed case of Delta Variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the country.

The government urged the residents to use their face masks and sanitisers in public places as well as main social  distancing to avert the spread of the deadlier and more infectious and transmissible virus in Ekiti.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani and Coordinator, COVID-19 Response Task Force in the state, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, on Saturday.

They warned that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new strain of COVID-19 virus as deadlier and more infectious, saying there was need for the people to be circumspect of their safety and maintain proper hygiene to safeguard their lives.

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They said, “All indigenes and residents of Ekiti State are hereby informed that the NCDC has now confirmed the presence of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Nigeria, described by the WHO 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, amongst other worrisome attributes.

“This development is a source of grave concern, because the arrival of the variant in about 100 other countries globally, has so far resulted in a surge in positive cases through community transmission of the dominant strain, as well as increased hospitalisations and mortalities. More so, WHO data show that for seven consecutive weeks, Africa has recorded a consistent increase in COVID-19 cases.

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“Consequently, most affected countries have reinforced extensive mitigative restrictions and travel bans, as their healthcare systems struggle to cope with the 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.

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“Accordingly, the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Task Force is set to 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.

“We must not relent in the practice of preventive measures such as the proper use of masks in public gatherings, maintenance of hand hygiene through proper handwashing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, and social distancing”.

They added that the Government will continue to work closely with the Federal Government and her agencies, as well as our development partners, to prevent the spread of this disease through the implementation of a phased vaccination campaign, which remains the most effective means of curbing this pandemic.

“We, therefore, encourage members of the public to seize the opportunity to receive their vaccine doses once the next phase commences.

“We, however, warn that, vaccinated or not, we must not let our guards down, especially as the season of cultural festivals and social events is upon us in our dear state.”