BusinessDay

COVID-19 infections near 10m in Africa

…Nigeria records 5 new deaths, 856 infections

Africa is approaching 10 million coronavirus infections as the pandemic goes into its fifth wave in certain countries on the continent.

John Nkengasong of the African Union’s health body said on Thursday.

“We might be tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired,” the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The new omicron variant had been reported in 33 African countries, he said, with 42 countries experiencing a fourth wave of the pandemic and five countries a fifth wave.

Nkengasong said it was entirely possible that new variants could arise. “Fears of more variants this year? Absolutely yes. They have to mutate to survive,” he said.

He praised South Africa for its consistent data on Omicron and for sharing information in a timely fashion, and he described the recent decline in cases there as a very good sign.

“We see a steady decrease in the number of omicron cases. We have seen a steep increase and also a sharp decrease in cases. That is very good news.

“I think South Africa has shown us the way on how to deal with rising infections and not necessarily put in place a severe lockdown, which can create a lot of harm to the economy.

“The period where we were using severe lockdown as a tool is over. We need a balanced way,” Nkengasong said.

Read also: How Lagos backlogs led to highest daily COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, Nigeria on Wednesday recorded additional five fatalities from COVID-19 and 856 fresh infections.

The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) said that with the five confirmed deaths from COVID-19 complications on Wednesday, the country’s death toll rose to 3,058

The NCDC disclosed that 433 people recovered from the virus.

According to the center, 217,247 Nigerians have been successfully treated and discharged nationwide.

The NCDC said Lagos recorded 337 cases while Kaduna recorded 152. The FCT recorded 87, Gombe (47), Delta (43), Kano (31), Kwara (27), Enugu (26), Nasarawa (19), Niger (15), Oyo (11), Rivers (11), Benue (9), Bauchi (8), Ogun (8), Borno (7), Ekiti (6), Edo (5), Plateau (4) and Bayelsa (3).

Also, the Nigerian Public Health agency noted that 3,863,081 people have been tested for the virus.

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency said as of December 8, 2021, 3.5 million eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The agency also said that 6.6 million Nigerians had taken the first dose while 3.5 million had been fully vaccinated against the virus.

The Federal Government also assured Nigerians of adequate doses of vaccines in-store to cover a large percentage of the population, adding that the country was awaiting about 57 million doses of the vaccine.

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