A total of 423 samples tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced the new figure in its update for August 11.
Although the case count for Tuesday represented an increase of almost 46 percent when compared to the figure for Monday, the difference doesn’t say much about a possible upward trend, since within the past week, the country recorded as high as 457 new cases on August 5.
However, with the new infections, more than 47,000 cases of coronavirus infections have now been confirmed in the country.
Six new deaths as a result of COVID-19 were recorded, increasing the fatality toll to 956, while 293 persons were discharged, bringing the country’s total number of recoveries to 33,609.
Meanwhile, as Nigeria approaches its sixth month since confirming the first case of the virus, the NCDC says fighting the pandemic has seen Nigeria’s health system struggle to cope with the present reality.
However, according to Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the NCDC, the health sector has witnessed some level of improvement, while more efforts are geared towards ensuring better access to health care.
“It is difficult to gain public trust in a context of economic, social and security difficulties. Yet, at NCDC, we have remained focused on our mandate which is to protect the health of Nigerians,” an article by Ihekweazu titled “Six Months in the Eye of the COVID-19 Storm”, read.
“The reaction to COVID-19 in Nigeria has gone from fear to stigmatisation of infected people and to sometimes, denial. Together, with our partners, we have developed proactive and reactive communication strategies.
“The weekly press conferences with the Presidential Task Force provides an opportunity for me to engage directly with the media. In addition to this, we work very hard to respond to several daily media requests, developing key communication messages every week, utilising various media channels to reach all sections of our society.
“It is easy to think of Nigeria as a country with uniform access to resources, forgetting the varying capacities and responsibilities across our states. The 36 states in Nigeria are at varying phases of this outbreak. There is established community transmission in some states, while other states are only at the beginning of this COVID-19 outbreak.
“This means that the intensity of the response will differ by state. We have deployed Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to all states in Nigeria. In Lagos, our RRTs have remained there since the first case was confirmed, with over 40 personnel still in the state. Through the World Bank, we have provided every state with a grant of 100 million naira each to implement their COVID-19 Incident Action Plans.
“While NCDC plays its normative role, every state should rise even higher to this challenge. We are only as strong as our weakest link and cannot afford to leave any state behind, as we respond to this outbreak.”