Cases of COVID may spike throughout the holiday season, NCDC warns

This holiday season may see an increase in COVID-19 infections, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to an interview with Punch, NCDC director general Ifedayo Adetifa speculated that an uptick in tourism could be to blame for the predicted spike.

However, the agency anticipates a decline in hospitalizations, he added.

“We are prepared to see that there may be a bump in cases just because of the increase in travel and the number of people returning. What we may not expect to see is an increasing number of people who are sick,” he said.

Adetifa said although Omicron remains the dominant COVID strain in Nigeria, vaccination and previous COVID-19 infections have provided some degrees of immunity.

“Omicron took over as the dominant variant in November and December last year, and it has refused to go anywhere. Other minor variants have emerged, but Omicron remains the most dominant,” he said.

“The population has quite a bit of immunity due to vaccination, previous COVID-19 infection, or repeated COVID-19 infection. So COVID-19 is not new. The Omicron is not new like it was in November.

“If you look at our numbers, we haven’t lost people for a while. Even if every single death is a great disaster for people’s families or friends, it’s not anything like the Delta variant when we had a big problem.”

According to the NCDC, Nigeria has so far recorded 266,283 COVID cases and 3,155 deaths.

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