Delta variant now most dominant COVID-19 strain in Nigeria
Addis Ababa, September 14, 2021 (FBC) – The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been identified as the most dominant strain in Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country continues to take measures to level out the third wave of infections, said Health Minister Osagie Ehanire.
Since late June, data by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated a surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities, a development that has brought renewed pressure on the health system, compounded by an ongoing industrial action by resident doctors in the country.
“Evidence so far is that the Delta strain is already the dominant one in Nigeria. We must keep our protective measures in place and increase testing to determine our situation,” said Ehanire, who spoke in Abuja on Monday evening, at a daily press conference on COVID-19.
The health minister noted, however, that “the dreaded third wave of COVID-19 may appear to be leveling out in the country because there had been no catastrophic increases in infections and fatalities.”
He said with reports of new coronavirus mutations circulating in other countries, the health authorities in Nigeria will continue to monitor with all the tools available, to respond appropriately when necessary.
The west African country on Monday reported 387 new infections and 21 deaths recorded across 15 states of the country and the federal capital territory, according to NCDC data.
So far, Nigeria has recorded a total of 199,538 COVID-19 cases, with recovered cases standing at 188,427 and the death toll rising to 2,619 since the country recorded its index case in February 2020.
Over 1.6 million eligible persons have been fully vaccinated since Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination six months ago, Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also said at the press conference on Monday.
In mid-August, Nigeria started the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program.