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With 34,854 COVID-19 cases and 595 new infections, Nigeria insists on non-pharmaceutical measures for prevention and reduction of virus

Nigeria on Thursday recorded 34,854 Coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed cases with 595 new infections just as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is appealing to all Nigerians and businesses to insist in full implementation of all non-pharmaceutical measures for prevention and reduction of the spread of the virus.

The NCDC said that with the rate of community transmissions in the country, nobody should continue to deny the presence of COVID-19 in our communities or test its virulence by engaging in risky behavior.

The health agency said via its official Twitter handle that the rate of increase has been steady and that out of the 34,854 confirmed cases, 14,292 have been treated and discharged while 769 deaths have been recorded in 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

NCDC said that the 595 new cases were  reported from 24 States with Lagos recording 156, Ondo (95), Rivers (53), Abia (43), Oyo (38), Enugu (29), Edo (24), FCT (23) and  Kaduna (20).

Others include Akwa Ibom (17), Anambra (17), Osun (17), Ogun (14), Kano (13), Imo (11), Delta (6), Ekiti (5), Gombe (4), Plateau (4), Cross River (2), Adamawa (1), Bauchi (1), Jigawa (1), and Yobe (1).

The NCDC stated that the Nigerian government is poised to reduce fatalities by ensuring that those citizens defined as vulnerable to COVID-19 were offered protection by prioritising them for advice on non-pharmaceutical measures.

According to the health agency, “countries in the world, including the most liberal in Europe, are now making masks mandatory for people who use public transport and even outdoors and they are imposing a fine for non-compliance.

“It is therefore still important, for us not to give up, but to continue to practice these measures, especially using facemasks, physical distancing and imbibing social courtesies like not sneezing or coughing into open space, but into a tissue.”

NCDC noted that as the numbers continue to rise in the phase of community transmission, Nigeria, like many other countries had hardly any other tool left, than to focus on the value of non-pharmaceutical measures for prevention.

It said that the vulnerable would also be prioritised for admission to observation or treatment centers, even if they do not yet have symptoms.

“In this regard, it does not help for anyone to continue to deny the presence of COVID-19 in our communities, or to test its virulence by engaging in risky behavior. The consequences can be dire,” it said.

The health agency urged all shops, businesses, service centers and places authorised to open to the public, to require that their customers and visitors use masks and adhere to these simple measures or else they should be denied entry.

“It is also important to state for clarity that masks must cover the mouth and nose, that a mask pushed under the chin is not effective and should not be under the chin for any reason.

”That  we need the mask most, when we are speaking, and it should therefore not be removed to speak, that wearing a face shield alone has not been proven to offer the same protection as a mask and should either be combined with a mask or totally left to healthcare providers, for whom they were actually intended,” it explained.

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