COVID-19: FG orders all isolation centres reopened as Nigeria records highest daily cases ever

Nigeria recorded 796 new cases on Friday, health authorities said, smashing previous highest daily record of 745 reported on June 19.

One Thursday, 675 new cases were recorded, one of the highest daily tally in six months.

Nigeria’s coronavirus 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 nine days, nearly 5,000 infections were reported, indicating a possible resurgence in cases after weeks of low numbers.

The rising numbers put the nation on the precipice of what could be its worst stretch to date in the pandemic amid indications that a second wave is beginning.

With the 796 new cases, the total number of COVID-19 infections rose to 72,140.

The death toll from the disease remained 1,190 after nobody died in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, of the over 72,000 persons infected by the disease in Nigeria, 65,712 have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.

Hospitalizations have also been on the rise as active cases in the country have risen from about 3,000 to over 5, 000 due to rise in new infections.

This is according to an update Friday night by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The 796 new cases were reported from 16 states: FCT (258), Lagos (248), Kaduna (117), Katsina (52), Ogun (27), Kwara (23), Gombe (22), Adamawa (17), Plateau (15), Kano (6), Rivers (2), Ondo (2), Ekiti (2), Nasarawa (2), Sokoto (2) and Taraba (1).

Again, Abuja and Lagos, the two most affected cities, led in Friday’s tally with 258 and 248 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 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.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, has assured Nigeria and other African countries of access to COVID-19 vaccines from the end of January through the first quarter of 2021, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

Nigeria has so far tested over 830,000 of its 200 million population for the virus.

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