Increase in COVID-19 cases, sign of 3rd wave — NIMR Director-General


Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), has said that the recent increase in COVID-19 cases could be a signal of a third wave of the pandemic.

He made this known on Saturday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The Lagos State Government had on July 11 expressed concern over the increasing number of cases in the state and hinted that there is a potential third wave in Lagos.

Salako also told NAN that necessary effort should be put in place to prepare the country against any eventuality.

He said: “We are beginning to see increase in the rate of positive results in Lagos and that should be a signal that we are entering the third wave.

“I will not say we have entered yet but it is an opportunity for us to prepare because a lot of Nigerians have lowered their guards and no longer comply to all the COVID-19 guildlines.”

According to him, there are noticeable increase in the number of cases in our testing centres.

“ Five weeks ago, we saw one or two positive per day in over 200 samples tested per week, two weeks ago it jumped into 13 and the following week it increased to 30.

“We don’t want to have the kind of experience countries like India are going through, so it is not only in the hand of the government alone but also in the hand of the people to do the needful,” he said.

Salako said that the Delta variant was known to be more deadly and caused more infections and transmit from people to people faster than other variants.

“The nature of the COVID-19, Delta variant, is that it effects people easily and with that knowledge we should preempt that.

“We must also get our isolation centres ready and there should be retraining of staff in getting ready for a likely third wave.

“More importantly, we should expedite the process of the purchase of our vaccine to vaccinate large majority of Nigerians and I am aware that the government is doing a lot about that,” he said. (NAN)