COVID-19: Fear as cases, deaths spike, spreads to NYSC camps


There has been concerns over the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country despite the vaccination exercise which commenced in May 2020.

According to the latest update by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, the country, on Wednesday recorded 790 fresh cases in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja.

So far the country has recorded 179,908 cases since the first case of the virus was confirmed in March 2020.

About 2,195 persons have died due to complications from the virus.

However, no fewer than 166,203 patients have been successfully treated and discharged from isolation centers across the country.

Since the outbreak of the dreaded virus in Nigeria in March 2020, Lagos State has remained the epicenter of the disease with highest daily cases.

Recall that about 18 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) posted to Niger State tested positive to the dreaded disease last week.

Alhaji Muhammed S. Idris, Niger State Commissioner for Information who made the disclosure during a press briefing, said the development followed a routine test conducted on the corps members.

According to the Commissioner, the state government would resuscitate its COVID-19 task force and ensure strict adherence to all guildlines.

Similarly, the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker few days ago, said about 35 corps members who were posted to the state have tested positive for the virus.

While briefing newsmen in Abeokuta, the Commissioner noted that some of the corps member are currently receiving treatment at home while others have been quarantined at the state’s isolation center.

Recall also that bout 20 corps members who are currently undergoing orientation at the Kusala Dam NYSC orientation camp in Karaye Local Government Area of Kano were confirmed positive for the virus.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, while reacting to the current surge in cases and deaths on Wednesday, blamed NYSC, saying the scheme is one of the factors responsible for the spike.

He also blamed Nigerians for exhibiting lackadaisical attitudes towards the COVID-19 protocols as advised by medical experts.

“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 NYSC camps.

“The second reason for the high cases is that Nigerians have actually let down their guards,” the Minister said.

Some of the 2021 batch ‘B’ (stream 1) corps members who are currently receiving orientation at in different camps, told that the major challenge they are facing is social distancing.

One of the corps members in Kaduna Orientation Camp who preferred not to be mentioned for the fear of victimization, expressed fear over the surge.

She said, “I am doing my best to that I don’t contract that disease, when you look around, you will see some symptoms yet social distancing is a big challenge.

“Most of the corps member do not even believe in the disease, they wear face mask just to fulfill all righteousness, we are scared”.

Another respondent from Imo State camps said although the scheme has established protocols in the camp but it is been flouted.

“They are very serious with COVID-19 guidelines here, you can’t move around without wearing you face mask properly.

“Everyone seems to be following the protocols but to tell you the truth, situations in hostels are different”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has assured that COVID-19 vaccinations will resume in the country on August 16.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, revealed that the doses of the Moderna vaccine, which arrived from the United States last week, were being prepared for rollout across the states.