Nigeria records 371 new coronavirus cases, three deaths


10. The NCDC and partners, with leadership from the Federal Ministry of Health and Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 is putting in place measures to strengthen the public health response to the pandemic.

Nigeria on Friday recorded 371 new COVID-19 infections in 20 states, health authorities have said.

The new figure was a significant decrease from the 709 reported in the previous 24-hour cycle.

Nigeria suffered its worst phase of the COVID-19 outbreak between December and January as daily infections averaged over 1,000.

Recently however, infection figures have been relatively low with daily cases hovering between 300 and 700 in the past 13 days.

Thursday’s 709 was thus the highest in about two weeks but the 371 on Friday appeared a return to low daily figures.

With the latest figure, the total infection tally in the country is now 158,042, according to an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Friday night.

Also on Friday, Nigeria recorded three deaths from COVID-19 as the country commences vaccination of its citizens.

The fatality toll in the country has relatively been high but Friday’s figure indicated a marginal decease from the 12 deaths on Thursday.

With the latest figure, the total fatality toll in the country is now 1,954, according to the NCDC.

Health experts believe the official data under-reports both infections and deaths because of the country’s limited testing capacity.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has so far conducted about 1.54 million COVID-19 tests, less than one per cent of the country’s 200 million population.

The 371 new cases were reported from 20 states – Lagos (101), Rivers (54), Anambra (31), Ebonyi (23), Imo (23), Kwara (22), Kano (20), Taraba (17), Akwa Ibom (16), FCT (15), Abia (13), Kaduna (13), Osun (5), Edo (4), Oyo (4), Kebbi (3), Ogun (3), Ekiti (2), Nasarawa (1), and Zamfara (1).

Lagos had the highest daily figure with 101 new infections to extend its lead as the most impacted city in Nigeria.

More than two-thirds of the over 158,000 people infected by COVID-19 in Nigeria have recovered after treatment.

According to the NCDC data published Friday night, a total of 137,025 have recovered after treatment.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 infections are still active in the country.

Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor, on Friday, became the first person to receive a jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. Three other health workers also received jabs during the flag-off event at the National Hospital in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday take their first doses of the newly acquired AstraZeneca jabs, according to Aso rock officials.

Nigeria has received about four million doses of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccines out of the 16 million doses the country is expecting. Nigeria hopes to vaccinate over half of its 200 million population in the next two years.

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