"Covid-19 remains a serious virus that is affecting millions around the world, even though many Nigerians still don't want to believe," the official says.
The latest spate of deaths due to COVID-19 in Ondo State is due to those infected being aged or having underlying ailments, Stephen Fagbemi, the Ondo State Epidemiologist, has said.
Mr Fagbemi spoke to PREMIUM TIMES over the phone on Wednesday.
"COVID-19 remains a serious virus that is affecting millions around the world, even though many Nigerians still don't want to believe," he said.
"Young people may be going around saying that there is nothing going on, but the older people are most vulnerable."
Ondo State recorded 39 cases and three deaths between January 17 and 20, as the second wave of the pandemic continues to wreck havoc across the country.
As of January 20, the state has a total of 2,109 confirmed cases with 45 fatalities, according to the NCDC.
At least 1,809 people have been discharged, while 255 are still on admission.
Mr Fagbemi said some of the COVID-19 patients would not turn up on time and would delay until the situation becomes critical, making it difficult for them to survive.
"We are not overwhelmed at all even though there is an increase in the infections. Our treatment facilities are not full," he said.
"We are appealing to the people to come out and get help. If people come out voluntarily to be treated, it would help in the fight against the spread of the virus."
Despite the surge, schools in the state have resumed, with a substantial compliance with COVID-19 prevention protocols by the schools.
However, the level of compliance among residents generally remains low, as many still do not believe the virus really exists.
Also during the week, the state government barred those without nose mask from entering any government offices and schools as part of its efforts to curtail the spread of the virus.
A total of 113,305 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Nigeria, with 1,464 deaths and 91,200 cases discharged nationwide.