The Federal Government said yesterday that the number of COVID-19 cases recorded at National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, camps across the country was far more than reported, according to a report of the Vanguard Newspaper anchored b Sola Ogundipe, with contributions from Chioma Obinna and Adesina Wahab.
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, in a swift reaction, called for suspension of camp activities if the government cannot vaccinate all youth corps members.
Several critical stakeholders in the education sector blamed negligence on the part of officials for the reported surge in COVID-19 cases in orientation camps run by the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, across the country but expressed differing opinions on whether or not the camps should be closed.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated in Abuja, that consistent testing and non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions are responsible for the rising cases of infection across the camps.
The minister said: “Two things are responsible for the high cases of pandemic reported at the National Youth Service Corps camps.”
“One is because of consistent testing that has been taking place in the camps. The truth of the matter is that if we ramp up testing today, there will be more cases.
“Second reason for the high cases is that people have actually let down their guards. We are no longer obeying non-pharmaceutical interventions such as washing of hands regularly with soap and water or sanitizing hands when that (water and soap) is not available.
“So really, Nigeria is already in the third wave and this case has been compounded by the delta variant,” Mohammed stated. The delta variant is about 60 times more potent than the wild COVID I9. And it is very virulent, deadly and more easily transmissible.
“It appears that while the normal variant will take about seven days to manifest, the delta variant manifests within two days of being infected. So, it is a real challenge for us. But the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, is not resting on its oars to ensure that they give out necessary directive to national response team to tackle this virus.’’