• Monday, December 11, 2023
businessday logo


Delta variant infections pace to beat 2020 rate

Covid-19 Delta variant

As the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes its course in Nigeria, infection rate is seemingly playing catch-up with the levels seen same period last year.

Nigeria was in the middle of a swelling uptick in infection rate between July 9 and August 4, 2020, while the fatality moved between 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent of cumulative cases.

Daily cases averaged 544 and hit a high of 664 even though variants of concern had not crept into the picture. The original COVID-19 virus was the main driver of that surge.

The difference now, however, is that the highly contagious Delta variant seems to be staging a replay that could overtake the year-on-year record from 2020.

Although average daily cases has hovered around 270 since Nigeria detected Delta, the country has seen cases hit 590 in a day and sustained at over 500 at some point. Death cases are also growing steadily as Lagos for instance records six per day.

Read Also: 1,398 new Covid-19 cases take Nigeria’s total infections to 103,999

If the trajectory of current infections follows the first wave of 2020, Nigeria could see a sustained rise for more than a month before things begin to moderate.

The pattern of waves equally appears the COVID-19 could be seasonal as some virologists and epidemiologists have suggested.

Some researchers in Netherlands have hypothesised that COVID-19 satisfies the seasonal criteria of earlier flu-like pandemics, using comparative time-series analysis and a standardised logarithm infection scale as determinants.

They suggest that the seasonal factors driving flu season are also responsible for COVID-19 seasonality.

“We conclude that seasonal patterns of COVID-19 incidence and influenza-like illnesses incidence are highly similar, in a country in the temperate climate zone, such as the Netherlands. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic satisfies the criteria of earlier respiratory pandemics, namely a first wave that is short-lived at the tail-end of flu season, and a second wave that is longer and more severe,” Martijn Hoogeveen and Eellen Hoogeveen stated in their research published in ScienceDirect, a science journal.