Nigeria has recorded more than 500 COVID-19 cases in daily figures for the third time on Friday as the government struggles to deal with a new and more infectious variant of the virus.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said figures on Saturday morning showed another 590 cases were reported.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in July 28, some 535 cases were reported, July 29, 558 were registered and on July 30, 590 cases were logged, which is now the biggest daily increase in the country since March 4, 2021, when 708 cases were registered.
According to the NCDC, the number of cases is rising, so is the country’s testing capacity since the peak of the first wave last year.
The NCDC said that the new daily tally of 558 on Thursday has now been overtaken by Friday‘s 590 cases and these have raised the total infections in the country to 173,411.
It said the country also registered eight new deaths from COVID-19-related complications on Friday, keeping the death toll at 2,148.
The NCDC stated that the 590 additional infections were across registered across 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to it, Friday’s figures are higher when compared with the 558 cases reported 24 hours earlier and ranks highest daily tally since March 4 when 708 cases were reported.
The Public health agency said that Lagos State reported 306 new infections, Akwa Ibom, 54 more cases, Katsina, Oyo and Rivers had 40, 39 and 26 fresh infections respectively.
Other states were Niger-23, Gombe-19, Ogun-16, Ekiti-15, the FCT-10, Nasarawa-10, Delta-9, Bayelsa and Plateau-5 each, Imo-4, Ebonyi and Jigawa-3 each and Kano-1.
The NCDC said Friday’s report includes cases reported for Niger state for July 28 (12) and July 29 (11).
It noted cases reported for Delta state for July 10 is (1), July 11 (1), July 13 (3), and July 29 (4).
It added that zero cases were reported from Ondo and Osun States.
The agency said that 48 people have recovered and were discharged from various isolation centres in the country on Friday.
It added that till date, 164,978 recoveries have been recorded nationwide in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities.
The Public Health agency noted that the country had also tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus out of the country’s roughly 200 million population.
The agency added that the country’s active cases stood at over 5,000.
NAN quoted the agency as saying that it would continue to monitor all variants closely, paying particular attention to the impact on hospitalisation and deaths which would help the country to understand the protective effects of vaccines.
It said that it was important for Nigerians to wear masks indoors to curb the Delta variant, especially when “you don’t know everyone’s vaccination status”.
It added that vaccinated people should still wear masks, given the incredibly fast transmission of the Delta Variant and its unique severity.
It noted that vaccines alone won’t stop community transmission. Nigerians need to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces even if they were vaccinated.
“People cannot feel safe just because they have been vaccinated. They still need to protect themselves,” it stated.