By Abujah Racheal
Abuja – The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 417 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections in the country to 49,485.
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
According to it, two deaths were recorded in the country.
The NCDC said that till date, 49,485 cases have been confirmed, 36,834 cases have been discharged and 977 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
It stated that the 417 new cases were reported from 17 states across the country.
The NCDC data showed that Lagos state, the COVID-19 epicenter country had 207 new cases – the highest for the day; Kaduna – 44; Ondo – 38; Abia-28; Anambra – 21 and Plateau – 20.
Amongst others were Bauchi – 13 , Oyo – 9; Ebonyi – 9; Delta – 7; Edo – 7; Enugu – 6; Niger – 3; Gombe – 2; Ogun – 1; FCT – 1 and Kano -1.
Meanwhile, the Centre noted that for benefit of Nigerians, samples were only collected at designated centres and not at the airports.
It pleaded with Nigerians to remain focused on our collective efforts to manage COVID-19 and not share misinformation.
According to the centre, it is only through testing that we can estimate the actual burden of COVID-19 in the country.
“Our improvement in testing shows the testing infrastructure is not the challenge, but in building a health care delivery system to serve the Nigerians,” it stated.
The health agency said that people with mild forms of COVID-19 may look healthy and would be able to carry out normal activities.
“TakeResponsibility to prevent spreading COVID-19 unknowingly to those around you. MaskOnNaija, Practice physical distancing in public spaces and wash your hands frequently “ it advised.
According to the agency, Fatigue is a challenge we’ve had to address in the COVID-19 response, it affects everyone, health workers, journalists, and every essence worker.
“At NCDC, we provide mental health support for staff, and actively rotate response teams so staff can reunite with their families,” it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General, NCDC, revealed that the numbers of COVID-19 positive cases in some states have started to drop.
Ihekweazu said that the states: were Lagos, Kano, FCT, Plateau, and Borno state.
The DG explained that the reason for the reduction in the positivity rate in those states was the result of consistently testing high numbers of persons.
He said, “It is only through testing the numbers of people that may have the infection that we can actually understand how widespread that infection is.
“The state that gives us the biggest indicator of where we are is the data out of Lagos State. Lagos has consistently made the effort to test as many people as possible.
“They have been responsible for 50 per cent of the cases initially, which is now down to about 30 per cent in the country.
“What we have seen in Lagos is that they have consistently tested high numbers and we have seen a reduction in the positivity rate from close to 30 per cent at a time, that is, one in every 10 people tested were positive for COVID-19, to about 10 per cent or less in the last few weeks.
“What does that tell us? Fewer people are turning out positive among those tested in areas that are testing sufficiently. We can say that with confidence in Kano, FCT, Plateau, and Borno.
“States where they are really testing sufficient numbers, we can come to some conclusions of where they are. In States that are not testing enough, it is very difficult to analyse and interpret their results with confidence.”
He added, “The figures are what they are. Nigerians need to understand that there are no incentives for increasing or decreasing figures. We are a science-led organisation at the NCDC and will present the figures as they are.
“There have been challenges in some States in testing sufficient numbers. I want to congratulate the government and people of Cross River State, as they have turned around their approach to testing and are now doing what every other state should be doing in testing as many people as possible.
“70 per cent of Nigerians access their health care in the private sector. There is a reason for that and so we need to work very hard. People are not coming forward in sufficient numbers to get tested for all sorts of reasons.”
The DG said the Centre was working very hard to bring the sample collection centres closer to the patients, adding that they are working with secondary and tertiary facilities across the country so that anyone that comes into a hospital can have their test done if they need to. (NAN)
Edited by Felix Ajide