The coronavirus death toll in Nigeria rose on Friday with the recent surge in new cases feeding through into fatalities as the country slips into the second wave of the pandemic.
The total death tally from COVID-19 in Nigeria rose to 1, 212 on Friday after 11 more people died from the virus in the last 24 hours, the country’s infectious disease outfit, NCDC, announced late Friday.
According to the agency, 806 new confirmed cases of coronavirus were found over the past 24 hours amid resurgence in high numbers across the country.
The new figure shows a decrease from the 1, 145 infections reported on Thursday night, the country’s highest daily figure – a record likely to be broken going by the way the disease is spreading.
Since early December, there has been an unprecedented increase in coronavirus cases. This week alone, Nigeria has been consistent in setting new records of highest daily infections.
The 1, 145 new height in infections was reached barely 24 hours after recording the previous highest daily figure of 930 and about six days after the penultimate highest daily figure of 796 was reached.
Until the resurgence of the infections in December, Nigeria never had a higher number of daily infections than the 745 reported on June 19.
In the last two weeks, daily cases in the country averaged 500 for the first time since the pandemic reached Nigeria in late February with the spread concentrated in the country’s two major exit points and hardest hit cities – Lagos and Abuja.
The total number of infections in the country has now increased to 77, 013.
Despite the spike, millions of citizens still believe the nation had seen the worst of the coronavirus, hence they lowered their guards with the authorities also lax in enforcing control measures.
As a consequence of the resurgence, hospitalisation is increasing with hundreds of new COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals in the past few days.
Active cases in the country rose from about 3,000 to over 5,000 due to the rise in new infections.
Of the over 77,000 infections recorded in Nigeria, 67,484 patients have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
The 806 new cases are reported from 26 states- Lagos (287), FCT (255), Kaduna (36), Akwa Ibom (29), Katsina (25), Rivers (25), Kwara (21), Bauchi (19), Kano (15), Ondo (14), Plateau (13), Yobe (12), Nasarawa (11), Ebonyi (9), Gombe (8), Abia (7), Delta (4), Imo (4), Osun (3), Anambra (2), Borno (2), Cross River (1), Edo (1), Ekiti (1), Jigawa (1), and Ogun (1).
Again, Lagos and Abuja led with 287 and 255 new cases respectively on Friday – more than half of the daily total.
With the spike, Nigerian authorities announced that the country has slid into the second wave of the pandemic ordering the reopening of all isolation and treatment centres in the country.
The government in Lagos, the epicenter of the disease, also issued a fresh restriction order including shutting of schools from Monday, banning of concerts, street shows and all forms of public gatherings. All places of worship (churches, mosques, etc.) must ensure that no gathering exceeds two hours and no gathering exceeds 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.
The NCDC has also developed new guidelines for public sector leaders and business owners in a bid to curb the spread.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has made a “passionate appeal” to Nigerians to take the COVID-19 prevention advisories seriously, especially during the Yuletide festivities.
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.
Nigeria has so far tested nearly 870,000 of its 200 million population for the virus.
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