The gradual phasing out of the COVID-19 pandemic which has had a devastating impact on a global scale brought a huge sigh of relief to Nigerians as normalcy was gradually returning to the country while the number of Coronavirus cases dropped.
There was, however, a turn of events on December 10 2020, as the country recorded an upsurge in the number of cases.
For the first time in five months, Nigeria recorded 675 new infections across fifteen states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Before December 10, the country recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases on the first of July.
With the rising numbers of positive cases, the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, during a briefing of the Presidential Task force (PTF) on COVID-19 Thursday, expressed concerns that the country just might be on the verge of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are seeing the increase in the number of confirmed covid19 cases in the last few days, which we have frequently alluded to in recent times. This rightly suggests that we may just be on the verge of a second wave of this pandemic. Last week, we recorded 1843 against 1,235 two weeks before that and 1,126 the week before that.
“In the past 24 hours, 474 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded, with an indication that this week’s figure will beat last week’s. As at today, we have crossed 70,000 mark with a total of 70,669 confirmed cases of which 65,242 have been treated and discharged. Sadly the number of deaths has now reached 1184 as against 1,167 two weeks before.”
The federal government has also directed that all COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres across the country be reopened while urging health care personnel to be on the alert.
Relatedly, John Olu Irefin, a Major-General and General Officer Commanding (GOC) six division, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, was reported dead on Thursday after he fell ill while participating at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference in Abuja. He was taken to the military hospital for treatment on Tuesday, where he died from COVID-19 complications.
In preparation for a possible upsurge of Coronavirus cases, the federal government has put measures in place to obtain 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. This is as disclosed by Faisal Shuaib, Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, during the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Thursday.
The signs are indeed worrisome. To prevent the situation from getting any worse, the onus lies on us all to ensure that we adhere strictly to the Covid-19 safety protocols while we hope the pandemic phases out completely.