BENIN CITY – Edo State has confirmed the death of 16 more persons who have not been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccines, as the government intensifies vaccination across all communities in the state to protect citizens and achieve herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus.

The State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this after the daily virtual meeting of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, chaired by the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

Obi noted that the 16 new deaths recorded in the last 72 hours raised the total number of mortalities in the third wave of the pandemic in the state to 50.

The Incident Manager, who stated that Edo was also witnessing a progressive rise in test positivity rate in the past nine weeks, disclosed that young people less than 50 years old account for 73.1 percent of total confirmed cases in the state.

According to him, “Edo State is witnessing a steady rise in the number of deaths of persons who have not been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccines, as the state, in the last 72 hours, recorded the death of 16 more unvaccinated persons.

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“The new fatality brings to 50, the total number of deaths recorded in the third wave of the pandemic in the state. We also recorded 79 new cases from the 537 samples collected within the 72-hour timeframe and 103 recoveries from the virus.”

He further disclosed that the state has so far in the third wave of the pandemic collected 12,912 samples and recorded 1,004 confirmed cases and 346 recoveries, with 608 active cases that are being managed at various treatment and isolation centres within the state.”

Noting that the government has intensified the vaccination of residents across the state’s 18 local councils, Obi said Edo has inoculated over 63,332 persons since the commencement of the second phase vaccination exercise, with 55,766 persons vaccinated with Moderna, while 7,566 others were inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Revealing that unvaccinated persons account for 95.7 percent of confirmed cases recorded in the state in the third wave, Obi said symptomatic presentation increased by 146.9 percent especially among young persons; new case detection climbed to over 300 percent, while contact/ travel history infection increased by over 190 percent, when compared to the second wave.

He further charged “all residents, who have been administered with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, to come out for the second dose in order to get full protection against the virus, while others who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to come out and get the vaccination. The vaccines are safe, free and effective.”