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Ekiti alerts residents to new COVID-19 variant


[FILE] Ekiti state.

Ekiti State Government, yesterday, alerted its indigenes and residents to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) confirmation of the new COVID-19 variant in Nigeria.

According to the government, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had described the variant 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, among other worrisome attributes.

In a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Health & Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani and Prof. Mobolaji E. Aluko, Coordinator, COVID-19 Response Task Force, they said the development was a source of grave concern, because the arrival of the variant in over 100 other countries globally, has so far resulted in a spike in positive cases, through community transmission of the dominant strain, as well as increased hospitalisation and mortalities.


“More so, WHO data shows that for seven consecutive weeks, Africa has recorded a consistent increase in COVID-19 cases.

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

“Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Task Force would 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 hand-washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and social distancing.

“Ekiti State 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, no matter the strain.

“One of such ways is through the implementation of a phased vaccination campaign which remains the most effective means of curbing this pandemic, and which should be embraced by all. 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.”


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