Nigeria records 460 new coronavirus cases, one death

Nigeria has recorded one additional fatality from the COVID-19 pandemic with 460 fresh cases reported across 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This is as civil societies and the government of Edo State, South-south Nigeria, have disagreed over the latter’s decision to make evidence of vaccination the access key to some important gatherings and locations.

The workers in the state’s health ministry have also been given a seven-day ultimatum to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in an update shared on its Facebook page late Monday night, said the country’s fatality toll from the disease now stands at 2,455.

The disease centre said the latest figure of confirmed cases has increased Nigeria’s infection toll to 191,805 among which the active cases are 10,858.

A breakdown of the NCDC data reveals that Rivers State reported the highest figure of 164 cases while Lagos State came second on the log with 139 infections. Edo State recorded 61 to rank third.

The FCT ranks fourth with 37 cases, while Bayelsa State recorded 20 cases to take the fifth slot, followed by Oyo State with 14 cases, Plateau State, seven while Ogun State recorded six cases.

Anambra and Benue states reported four cases each, followed by Enugu State with two cases, while Cross River and Kaduna states recorded one case each.

On Monday, a coalition of civil societies in Edo State defied the heavy downpour to stage a protest over the state’s policy on mandatory vaccination for residents.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of the state had said residents without proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be barred from public facilities and large gatherings.

He made this known during the flag-off of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Benin, the state capital, where he lamented the increasing cases of infections in the state.

Mr Obaseki had said from September 15, anyone who had yet to take the vaccine would not be allowed into public places, such as banks and worship centres.

“With what we have seen so far, COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay. This is the third wave and there is nothing that points to the fact that other waves will not come. What we are likely to see is intermittent waves of this pandemic. We are not going to shut down Edo State but we will make sure we protect all Edo citizens.

“Therefore, I have come out with the following regulations, beginning from the second week of September 2021, large gatherings, as well as high traffic public and private places, will only be accessed by persons who have proof of taking at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” the governor had said.

Similarly, in a memo dated August 30, with reference number HA.429/1/16, the permanent secretary of the state’s health ministry, Frederick Irabor, said officials of the ministry were given a seven-day ultimatum to get vaccinated against the pandemic.

Edo, with a total of 5,402 cases and 316 fatalities is Nigeria’s 6th most ravaged state by the virus, and 7th if the FCT is given a state status.

The state trails Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Rivers, Kaduna, Plateau and Oyo States.

On Monday, a national daily reported that amidst the heavy downpour in the state, protesters, who wore shirts with inscriptions such as ‘My Life, My Right’, walked around the city and converged on the Government House, protesting against what they described as Mr Obaseki’s forced vaccination and restriction of movement policy.

They were led by Chris Iyama, with the interim state chairman, Edo civil society, Osadolor Ochei, insisting that it is the right of citizens to decide whether to be vaccinated or not.

“Governor Obaseki must rescind his decision. That decision will not stand. The governor did not seek our opinion. We are giving the governor seven days,” Mr Iyama reportedly said.

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