The Nigerian government has put six states on red alert due to a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 infections and urged caution ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, reported Reuters.
“The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), has put six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on red alert as part of the preventive measures against a third wave of the pandemic,” Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said in a statement.
Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and the FCT have been put on red alert. The red alert means that states will have to deploy all COVID-19 prevention and containment measures in place and intensify testing, identification, treatment, and isolation of infected persons. Lagos has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, accounting for more than a third of the nationwide total.
The Nigerian Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) warned that all States of the federations should boost their state of preparedness and ensure that people follow all the protocols, considering the greater ease of spread of the Delta variant.
The statement said it is necessary to follow all the preventive steps as the nation continued to witness “worrisome early signs of the third wave of the pandemic.” It also urged the people of Nigeria to avoid the spread of infections during and after the celebration of the Islamic festival of Eid-el-Kabir, which comes up on Tuesday, July 20.
The Nigerian government has called out the people to hold prayers outdoors and limit indoor gatherings. It also recommended the suspension of the traditional Durbar festival showcasing horse riding displays.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, with a population of some 210 million, has officially recorded over 169,000 cases and 2,126 deaths from COVID-19. The government began inoculating its population in March with four million doses.