The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has recorded a 32 per cent increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases among inbound passengers tested at entry points into Nigeria within the past week.
This was contained in the latest epidemiological COVID-19 situation report released by the NCDC on Saturday.
The number of positive cases from inbound passengers rose from 81 (July 5-11) to 107 (July 12-19), signifying a 32 per cent increase.
The report also revealed that there was a significant increase in the number of outbound passengers as 126 intending passengers to other countries tested positive to COVID-19 within July 12 and July 19.
The number of infected cases also increased from 693 between July 5 and July 11 to 966 between July 12 and July 19.
According to the report, there was an improvement in the number of cases tested from 36,965 between July 5 and July 11 to 42,068 between July 12 and July 19.
Eight states, however, performed poorly, testing less than 20 people in a week.
The states with their corresponding number of tests are: Kebbi (0), Kogi (4), Nasarawa (16), Sokoto (13), Taraba (0), Yobe (2), and Zamfara (0).
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, called for caution on the dangerous Delta variant detected in Nigeria.
He said, “Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.
“Additionally, states are urged to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public.
“Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Test for rapid testing of their population.”
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, can spread more easily, according to the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers have said that the Delta variant is about 50 per cent more contagious than the Alpha variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, according to The Washington Post.
Alpha, also known as B.1.1.7, was already 50 per cent more contagious than the original coronavirus first identified in China in 2019, WebMD reports.
Public health experts estimate that the average person who gets infected with Delta spread it to three or four other people, as compared with one or two other people through the original coronavirus strain, according to Yale Medicine.
The Delta variant may also be able to escape protection from vaccines and some COVID-19 treatments, though studies are still ongoing.
The Delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and led to major outbreaks in the country. It then spread rapidly and is now reported in 104 countries, according to a CDC tracker.
As of early July, Delta has become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the US, UK, Germany, and other countries.
In the UK, for instance, the Delta variant now makes up more than 97 per cent of new COVID-19 cases, according to Public Health England. Scientists are still tracking the data to determine how deadly it is.
People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk, Yale Medicine reports.
In the US, communities with low vaccination rates have seen a jump in cases, WebMD says.