COVID-19: Nigeria records 661 new cases as death toll rises past 500 mark

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

Equally important, 19 more people have died as a result of complications arising from the virus. Consequently, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has now surpassed the 500 mark. Currently, a total of 506 persons have so far died as a result of the pandemic.

This was disclosed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday through its official Twitter handle.

Further, the NCDC revealed that the 661 new confirmed cases were reported in 13 states; as well as in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The health agency said that no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.

Lagos reported the highest number of cases with 230 new cases. Also, Rivers was second with 127 new infections.

Others are Delta (83), FCT (60), Oyo (51), Edo (31), Bayelsa (27), Kaduna (25), Plateau (13) and Ondo (6). Others are Nasarawa (3), Ekiti (2), Kano (2) and 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. Equally important, the agency revealed that 111,052 samples have been collected so far.

Meanwhile, 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. To this effect, the agency is 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); 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 and Kogi. Also listed were Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Benue, and the FCT.

“Already, we have worked with NTBLCP and our partners to activate 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.

Please refer to table below for confirmed cases of COVID-19 across states as at Saturday, June 20.

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