Nigeria records highest coronavirus cases tally in six months

As states across the country struggle to curb the spread of COVID-19 Delta variant, Nigeria now averages more than 700 new cases, says the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The NCDC, which disclosed this via its verified website on Thursday morning, said that the country registered 790 additional infections on Wednesday, a sharp increase from the 610 cases it registered a day earlier.

Wednesday’s increase was the highest daily tally of infections since February.

The surge resulted in the federal government calling on citizens to take responsibility and adhere to preventive measures, especially as the caseload keeps rising on the heels of an ongoing doctors’ strike.

The NCDC noted that states nationwide were struggling to curb the spread of the Delta variant, with the situation becoming alarming particularly in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Oyo states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the strain was accounting for a large number of the cases.

Due to the spread, NCDC observed that Lagos State set a new record for COVID-19 on Wednesday with 574 cases, while infections in Rivers State jumped to 83, Ondo-38, Ogun-31, Oyo-23, Delta-10, the FCT-9, Ekiti-7, Edo-6, Osun-4.

Anambra and Bayelsa recorded two cases each and Plateau, one; while three states: Kano, Nasarawa and Sokoto, reported zero cases, NCDC said.

One new death was also recorded on Wednesday, bringing the nation’s fatality count, since the start of the pandemic, to 2,195.

A total of 74 people recovered and were discharged from various isolation centres on Wednesday, with total recoveries nationwide since the onset of the pandemic clocking 166,203, the NCDC added.

The agency said that the country had tested more than 2.5 million samples for the virus out of its roughly 200 million population, with an average test positivity rate of six percent.

It also disclosed that the country’s active cases had soared to 11,500.

In the meantime, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continued to coordinate the national response activities.

The agency reported that vaccination was also providing better protection than natural immunity, for adults previously infected with COVID-19, from getting re-infected.

It warned that scientists believe the Delta variant to be as contagious as chickenpox, as one infected person carries the potential of infecting eight or nine others, just as the strain has shown its efficacy in infecting younger people as against the older strains of the virus.

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