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COVID-19: Nigeria in Top Three Most Infected Countries in Africa as Continental Cases Surpass 180k

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Jude Johnson

The Nigeria’s total number of COVID19 cases is ow close to 12,000 as the country on Friday, recorded 328 new cases of the pandemic, bringing the total number of infections to 11,844, according to the the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

With this new figure, Nigeria has displaced Algeria to be ranked third on the list of most infected African nations after South Africa and Egypt.

This is coming as the pandemic is set to infect more than 180,000 people in Africa at the end of this Saturday.

The Centre’s latest report released on Friday night showed that 121 of the new cases were recorded in Lagos, 70 in the FCT, and 25 in Bauchi.

Other affected states were Rivers with 18 cases, Oyo with 16, 15 in Kaduna, 14 in Gombe, 13 in Edo and Ogun, eight in Jigawa, six in Enugu, five in Kano and two each in Ondo and Osun states.

350 new cases of #COVID19;

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However, NCDC also noted that a total of 3,696 patients have now recovered from the virus and have subsequently been discharged from isolation centers, while 333 persons have died.

Nearly four months since Nigeria recorded its first case in the country, the figures have continued to rise with Lagos still the epicenter after a record 5,663 cases, closely followed by Kano State with 985 cases and the FCT with 862 cases.

“With the latest figures, Nigeria is ranked third on the list of most infected African nations after South Africa and Egypt,” NCDC noted.

To curb further spread of the virus, the Federal Government had imposed a lockdown on the three majorly affected states at the time (Lagos, Ogun State and the FCT) in March.

Subsequently, other states began to impose varying degrees of curfews and governors eventually agreed on interstate lockdowns as they began to record new infections.

But weeks after the FG-Imposed lockdown, President Muhammadu Buhari announced again that there would be a gradual easing of the lockdown in order to allow economic activities resume as the country could not sustain an extended period of economic inactivity.

While essential workers and other levels of workers have been allowed to resume so far, the government has still appealed to those who can afford to stay at home, to do so.

Reducing interpersonal contacts and maintaining social distancing of up to 2-3meters is said to be one of the ways to curb the spread of the virus but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task for most Nigerians.

Other measures to stay safe include sneezing or coughing into your elbow, washing of hands regularly, use of alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing of face masks.

While most businesses have been allowed to resume with strict adherence to the above measures, schools, cinemas, clubs and other places of mass social gatherings remain shut.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has, however, allowed the reopening of worship centers.

While the PTF had said it does not recommend that people resume at places of worship, it noted that if they have to, they must adhere strictly to the guidelines, some of which include the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.

Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.

The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.

In addition, it noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

Some Muslim faithful in Abuja could already been seen gathering for prayers on Friday as the restrictions get lifted.

President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, and other government officials were also among those who attended Juma’at prayers – their first since the lockdown was imposed.

For schools, the government had stated last week that it is not ready to take the risk of resuming just yet.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, debunked reports that schools would open on June 8, adding that there would be no resumption “until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material”.

COVID-19 cases to surge pass 180K in Africa

Confirmed coronavirus cases will surpass the 180,000 mark by end of Saturday in Africa, according to a tracker trends. 

Data from Worldometer recorded 4,942 deaths from the pandemic on the continent.

A total of 7,126 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the tally to 179,309.

More than 80,322 patients have recovered from the virus.

In the most affected countries, the number of fatalities rose to 1,166 in Egypt, 908 in South Africa, 690 in Algeria, 347 in Sudan, 333 in Nigeria, 208 in Morocco, 205 in Cameroon and 42 in Ghana.

The pandemic has killed nearly 395,000 worldwide, with more than 6.7 million confirmed cases and almost 3 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Credits| AA, CTV

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