Amidst a rise in new COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the country, on Saturday, recorded 617 new infections and four deaths.
The latest figure came barely 24 hours after the country recorded its highest ever daily figure of 796, smashing the previous record of 745 reported on June 19.
Cases have been on the rise since early December with infection rates still concentrated in Nigeria’s two major cities and hardest-hit regions – Lagos and Abuja.
In the last 10 days, over 5,000 infections were reported, indicating a possible resurgence in cases after weeks of low numbers.
With the 617 new cases, the total infections rose to 72,757. The death toll from the virus also increased to 1,194 after four people died in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, of the over 72,000 persons infected by the virus in Nigeria, 65,850 have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
Hospitalizations have also been on the rise as active cases in the country rose from about 3,000 to over 5,000 last week.
According to an update Friday night by Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the 617 new cases were reported from 15 states – Lagos (225), FCT (181), Kaduna (125), Adamawa (25), Nasarawa (20), Kano (12), Rivers (8), Edo (4), Ekiti (4), Bayelsa (3), Ogun (3), Plateau (3), Akwa Ibom (2), Delta (1) and Sokoto (1).
Again, Lagos and Abuja, the two most affected cities, led in Saturday’s tally with 225 and 181 new cases respectively – more than half of the total.
With the possibility of a second wave, the Nigerian government on Thursday ordered the reopening of all isolation and treatment centres in the country.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing said the move was to prepare the country for a possible second wave of the pandemic noting that everyone had a role to play in the effort to prevent the explosive spread of the infection in the country.
However, there is optimism in the treatment of the virus as at least two vaccines have shown over 90 per cent effectiveness during trials, according to the manufacturers.
Nigeria has so far tested over 830,000 of its 200 million population for the virus.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has also advised Nigerians to suspend their Christmas and New Year travels to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
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