Delta Variant 60% More Transmissible"

“Delta Variant 60% More Transmissible”

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Govt Says No Socio-economic Lockdown Yet

THE delta variant of COVID-19, now a major mix in the third wave of the pandemic in Nigeria, is much more transmissible than the alfa.

Prime Business Africa reports that the alpha, the beta, delta, gamma, lambda are all successions of the fast-spreading variants of the allost two-year-old pandemic and have been raising serious risk across the world.

The characteristics of the variants are emerging rapidly and scientists are not yet certain about how easily they spread and whether they could cause more severe illness. There also has been a tinge of uncertainty as to whether, or not, the currently authorised vaccines will protect people against them.

Alpha was one of the older variants of the virus. Delta, as new variant, has been found in Nigeria, with Lagos, Rivers, Kwara and Oyo showing convincing signs of its presence. Experts say, the world should expect to see many more of COVID-19 variants in the coming months.

In fact, the National Executive Council (NEC) on Thursday, said the Delta Variant, which according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is now in Nigeria and in at least more than 108 other countries, could be as much as 60 percent deadlier and more transmissible than the one Nigerians are used to. But the Nigerian government gave an assurance that there was no indication of an imminent lockdown, even as the country rises up to the challenge of a third wave.

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who briefed journalists after Thursday’s NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the vice president had assured that NEC would convene an emergency meeting on the COVID-19 third wave, whenever the need arose.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned of the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant, alongside the inconsistent use of proven public health measures which, it said, was driving increases in both case numbers and deaths.

“We will be reviewing on a weekly basis, like every two to three days, what the trends are; the chairman of the council has also mentioned to us that if there is a need for an emergency meeting, he will call one.

“But, assurances were given by the NCDC and the Presidential Task Force, working with relevant states like Lagos, to be tracking and monitoring what is happening almost on daily basis.

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“So, we do not think that we are there; we do not have any indication that we will get there;  so we are preparing ourselves to ensure that as much as possible, we can very quickly flatten the curve’’, Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor added that Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC, had provided a global insight of what had been happening in the past one month, with Nigeria having 168, 552 cases reported as at July 15, and 1,993 active cases.

States had discharged over 140, 000 people, while only 2,124 deaths were recorded so far, the governor quoted the NCDC as saying, in addition to the fact that the positivity rates had gone up, in spite of the low number of cases in the country.

Sanwo-Olu said: “It is important for us to know that the Delta variant, which is the new variant, is also in our country and has also been identified in a total of 103 countries globally.

“The Delta variant is 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alfa variant; so, we are watching all the trends and the NCDC and Lagos will be working collaboratively.”

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