Nigeria on Friday recorded 51 new cases of COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.
This is the highest daily number of confirmed cases reported so far since the index case was reported in the country in February.
The newest update brings the total number of cases in the country to 493.
Also, Nigeria’s death toll from the disease increased from 13 on Thursday to 17.
Details of the state’s were the four new deaths were recorded were not provided.
The NCDC in a tweet Friday night said that the new cases were reported in eight states – Lagos, Kano, Kwara, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oyo, Katsina, Ogun, and Ekiti.
The breakdown of the new cases showed that Lagos has 32 cases, followed by Kano – 6, Kwara – 5, FCT – 2, Oyo – 2, Katsina – 2, Ekiti – 1 and Ogun State – 1.
Lagos remains the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria, while confirmed cases in Kano have been on the rise since the first confirmed case was announced on Sunday in the city.
The NCDC said as of 10:10 p.m. on April 17, 493 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nigeria. Of this, 159 have been discharged while 17 people have died.
As of the time of reporting, 19 states and the FCT have confirmed at least a case of the virus in Nigeria.
Lagos State has now reported 283 cases, followed by FCT – 69, Kano – 27, Osun – 20, Edo – 15, Oyo – 16, Ogun – 10, Kwara – 9, Katsina – 9, Bauchi, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom – 6, Delta – 4, while Ondo and Ekiti have 3 cases. Enugu, Niger,and Rivers have two cases each, while Benue and Anambra have recorded one each.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said at the media briefing on Friday that the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases is linked to increased efforts to conduct more tests including house to house testing of suspected cases.
Mr Ehanire emphasised the need for citizens to provide accurate information about themselves to enable the health workers promptly investigate, diagnose and treat correctly. He said this will improve the chances of a patient’s survival, as well as keep health workers and others safe.
He reiterated that unaccredited private health facilities should not treat people suspected with the virus but rather refer the cases to the assigned treatment centres.
Meanwhile, NCDC chief, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that as of 6:00 p.m. on April 17, a total of 7153 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He said the government is working very hard to increase the number of samples tested, including community surveillance in the FCT and Lagos.
“It is not our priority at the moment to accredit private laboratories, but we have started because we need to scale capacity,” he said.