The coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world seems to be hitting Nigeria harder during this yuletide than anticipated with the rising number of cases and fatalities.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 21 additional deaths from the pandemic on Christmas day, thereby increasing the country’s death toll to 3,014.
Two deaths and 1,356 cases were recorded in the country 24 hours earlier, an indication that the fourth wave of the disease may portend greater danger than the first three waves.
This newspaper on Saturday reported how Nigeria’s State House, otherwise called the Presidential Villa, is currently being ravaged by the pandemic with many top officials and aides to President Muhammadu Buhari down with the virus.
The earlier closure of the office of the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, last week, is also linked to the surge in cases as confirmed by her media aide, Aliyu Abdullahi.
But the NCDC noted that the new deaths are a backlog of cases reported from Imo and Kaduna States with 16 and four cases respectively.
The disease centre added that the country recorded 1,305 new cases across 14 states of the federation, increasing the infection toll to 236,014.
According to the latest statistics, the number of discharged cases now stands at 212,357, as Kaduna and Enugu State reported a backlog of 20 and 16 discharges respectively for December 24 and 25, 2021.
The breakdown of the NCDC data revealed that three South-western states, including Lagos State, the epicentre of the disease, topped the infection chart on Saturday.
While Lagos State came first with 705 cases, Oyo and Ondo States reported 234 and 88 cases respectively.
Also, Kaduna State reported 79 cases, out of which 59 cases are a backlog for December 24, 2021.
Rivers State followed on the log with 78 cases, Ogun State, 30; Anambra, 25, while Kano reported 24 cases.
Next on the log are Enugu and Ekiti states with 12 and 11 cases reported respectively.
While the trio of Jigawa, Osun and Plateau states reported six cases each, Zamfara reported a single case for December 23, 2021.
The NCDC further noted that the cases reported in Enugu, Anambra and Jigawa States are a backlog of cases for December 24, 2021.
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It added that the duo of Bauchi and Sokoto states reported that no cases were recorded on Saturday.
Vaccination as only antidote
The Nigerian government has appealed to Nigerians to be vaccinated against the infection, saying even if it does not stop a person from being infected, it limits the virulence of the virus.
The NCDC director general, Ifedayo Adetifa, during a media parley on Friday, urged Nigerians not only to avoid mass gatherings but to also make themselves available for vaccination.
He said the announcement of daily updates on the virus was to ensure transparency towards convincing those he described the ‘Doubting Thomases’ to take caution and stop reckless lifestyles.
He said apart from costing the nation huge resources, the management of the pandemic has been a difficult experience for the world, particularly in Africa where many still doubt its existence.
Mr Adetifa has, however, threatened that the country may be forced to introduce more stringent measures to limit the biting consequences of the pandemic. These measures, he said, could involve imposing another round of curfews.
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