By Moses Emorinken, Abuja

  • Recovery rate drops by 87%

  • NCDC warns on deadly Delta variant

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 77 per cent in one week, according to epidemiological data from the weekly COVID-19 situation report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The number of cases rose from 392 two weeks ago to 693 last week (July 5 to July 11).

The number of discharges (recoveries) dropped by 87 per cent, from the 433 persons discharged two weeks ago to 57 discharged last week.

Testing  improved in the last week by 29 per cent, from 28,656 tests in 32 states to 36,965 tests in 34 states.

Seven states performed poorly, testing less than 10 people in one week.

The states with their corresponding number of tests are Bauchi (1), Sokoto (1), Zamfara (1), Kogi (3), Yobe (3), Nasarawa (5), and Niger (5).

Lagos (15,673), FCT (5,405) and Rivers (3,991) tested the highest number of COVID-19 samples.

To date, 169,884 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, with 2,128 deaths.

NCDC Director-General Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, called for caution on the dangerous Delta variant detected in Nigeria.

He said: “Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.

“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.

“Additionally, states are urged to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public.

“Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population.”

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The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, can spread more easily, according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as reported by webmd.com.

Researchers have said that the Delta variant is about 50 per cent more contagious than the Alpha variant, which was first identified in the U.K., according to The Washington Post.

Alpha, also known as B.1.1.7, was already 50 per cent more contagious than the original coronavirus first identified in China in 2019, WebMD reports.

Public health experts estimate that the average person who gets infected with Delta spreads it to three or four other people, as compared with one or two other people through the original coronavirus strain, according to Yale Medicine.

The Delta variant may also be able to escape protection from vaccines and some COVID-19 treatments, though studies are still ongoing.

The Delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and led to major outbreaks in the country. It then spread rapidly and is now reported in 104 countries, according to a CDC tracker.

As of early July, Delta has become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and other countries.

In the U.K., for instance, the Delta variant now makes up more than 97 per cent of new COVID-19 cases, according to Public Health England. Scientists are still tracking the data to determine how deadly it is.

People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk, Yale Medicine reported.

In the U.S., communities with low vaccination rates have seen a jump in cases, WebMD adds.

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