Nigeria Records 661 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Number Now 19,808

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Nigeria recorded 667 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 19,808.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this on Saturday through its official Twitter handle.

NCDC said that the 661 new confirmed cases were reported in 14 states, with 19 deaths.

The health agency said that no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.

The NCDC said that Lagos reported the highest number of cases with 230 new cases and Rivers was second with 127 new infections.

Others are Delta(83), FCT(60), Oyo(51), Edo(31),Bayelsa(27), Kaduna(25), Plateau(13), Ondo(6), Nasarawa(3), Ekiti(2), Kano(2), Borno(1).

The NCDC said out of the  19,808 confirmed cases,  12, 584 are active while 6,718 cases have been treated and discharged.

The centre also said that 111,052 samples have been collected while Nigeria recorded 506 deaths recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The health agency reiterated that its mandate is to protect the health of all Nigerians and as such, it was obliged to state the facts.

The NCDC said it is leading the expansion of testing capacity for COVID-19 in Nigeria, as part of the national strategy to scale up COVID-19 testing published in March 2020, and they were leveraging GeneXpert equipment currently used for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

“The use of GeneXpert will significantly scale-up testing for COVID-19 and improve turn-around time for results in the country.

“Nigeria is one of many countries around the world using the GeneXpert system to scale up testing capacity.

“This expansion process is in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), and supported by partners at US- CDC, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and others.

“There are 400 sites in Nigeria with GeneXpert equipment for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

“However, we have prioritised the roll-out of GeneXpert in states where there is a high level of community transmission and states with limited or no laboratory capacity for the diagnosis of COVID-19 at the moment,” NCDC stated.

The health agency listed the states as:  Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Lagos, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Benue, and the FCT.

“Already, we have worked with NTBLCP and our partners to activated two GeneXpert laboratories in Kaduna and Nasarawa States. Eventually, we plan to roll out the GeneXpert testing sites for COVID-19 in every state in Nigeria,” it said.

NCDC, however, said that one of its responsibilities at the center was to scale-up the capacity for COVID-19 diagnosis in Nigeria as it responds to the pandemic.

“Our ability to promptly detect cases and halt the spread of the virus in our communities is largely dependent on our ability to scale-up access to testing for Nigerians.

“We remain strongly committed to our mandate to protect the health of Nigerians,” it said.

The health agency urged Nigerians to remain aware of the risks of COVID-19 and to adhere to the preventive measures advised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health. (NAN)





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