No fewer than 220 outbound passengers from Nigeria tested positive for the coronavirus disease at the point of departure, Saturday PUNCH has observed.
This was as analysis of daily epidemiological reports from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed that 4,008 Nigerians tested positive for COVID-19 within five days.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the Africa regional office of the World Health Organization had raised concerns over the growing number of cases in Africa.
In fact, the WHO Regional Director, Dr. Moeti Matshidioso, during a recent briefing with journalists had stated that Africa was witnessing the fastest surge since May last year.
Matshidioso had also expressed concerns on the probable increase in cases during the festive period. She had also gone to suggest the imposition of local restrictions when “necessary”.
According to the NCDC, 220 outbound passengers tested positive at the point of departure in two weeks.
Though the NCDC did not disclose if the variants were of the omicron variant, the centre noted that there was an increase in the positivity rate of travellers.
On December 12, 2021, the centre noted that a total of 418 persons tested positive with Lagos leading with a cumulative figure of 314 cases and Oyo with the least number of cases.
On December 13, 2021, NCDC reported a total of 385 cases, while it did not report any case from Lagos, FCT led with a total of 116 cases which was closely followed by Delta with 115 cases.
The NCDC reported a total of 730 cases on December 14, 2021 with Lagos again taking the lead with 431 cases which was followed by the FCT with 174 cases
On December 15, 2021, there was a surge in infections as Lagos reported no fewer than 796 cases, Delta 152; FCT 130 and Edo State with 129 cases.
The centre also noted that Lagos reported 599 cases on December 16, 2021; FCT 238 and Rivers with 79 cases.
While the total number of cases reported so far within the period was 4,008; it was observed that Lagos led with a total of 2,443 cases.
Saturday PUNCH reports that so far, a total of 221,071 cases of the coronavirus disease has been confirmed in Nigeria.
The African Union through its Institute of pathogen genomics also stated that so far 3,795 positive samples from Nigeria have been sequenced so far which has resulted in 11 cases of the omicron variant, 2,237 cases of the delta variant.
FG moves to prevent infected persons from entering Nigeria
In a related development, the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, on Friday pledged that the Federal Government had put in place strategies to ensure that those infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 abroad were not allowed into Nigeria through the nation’s airports.
He made the disclosure in Katsina while fielding questions from reporters shortly after witnessing the first matriculation ceremony for 114 students of the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology.
The Minister said he could not disclose the strategies that had been put in place since he was a member of a task force that would brief the President,Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) every Monday on issues relating to COVID-19.
He said, “Disclosing the strategies now would mean I am trying to pre-empt the work of the task force or the further directive that the President may give. I can however assure the nation that we will always protect our nationals against the virus and also prevent the spread of the virus through those coming from abroad.”
The Minister also spoke about the proposed Pan African Aviation and Aerospace University, revealing that the institution would be established in 2022 in Abuja.
SOURCE: THE PUNCH