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Government may ban public gatherings as Nigeria registered a record 1,145 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday

As Nigeria records an unprecedented 1,145 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, the federal government is considering an immediate ban on public gatherings this Christmas and New Year season to stem the high tide of new cases.

The new figure by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) brings the nation’s new infections to 76, 207.

Records show that Nigeria recorded an increase in new COVID-19 cases of 5,809 between December 7 and December 16 2020.

Breakdown of the 5,809 cases shows that on December 7, the country recorded 390; 550 cases on December 8; 474 cases on December 9; 675 cases on December 10 and 796 cases on December 11.

In addition, 617 cases was recorded on December 12; 418 cases on December 13; 201 cases on December 14; 758 cases on December 15 as well as 930 cases on December 16.

Out of the cases recorded during the 10-day period, Lagos State registered a total of 1,629 new infections while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded 1,586 cases.

On Thursday, the Federal Government on Thursday confirmed that Nigeria had entered the second wave of Coronavirus infections, with a warning about the risk of losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months and likely casualties.

Acting Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who Sirika stood in for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, said that “the real threat is upon humanity and the progress made in the global health sector in the last five decades or more.

“In Nigeria, the indication is that we have entered a second wave of infections and we stand the risk of not just losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months but also losing the precious lives of our citizens.

“The PTF believes that if we do the right things, adhere to the NPIs and step up our testing and detection, loss of lives will be minimized and the rising curve will begin to flatten out.”

Mustapha went on self-isolation after some members of his family tested positive for Coronavirus.

The agency noted that till date, 76,207 cases have been confirmed, 67,110 cases have been discharged and 1,201 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency has conducted about 864,104 tests since the first confirmed case relating to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced on February 27, 2020.

Nigeria’s figure of 1,145 new infections on Thursday is the highest ever infection recorded in one day since record keeping of COVID-19 commenced in Nigeria.

The latest figure surpassed the 930 cases recorded across the country on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 , confirming further that the country is experiencing a second wave of the virus. 

The public health agency sadly recorded one death in the last 24 hours in the country.

According to it, the new infections are  from 23 States and the FCT with a total of 335 patients discharged after testing negative for the virus.

Statistics of the 1,145 new infections shows that Lagos State, the epicentre of the virus in the country, recorded the highest number of infections with 459 cases; followed by FCT, Kaduna, and Plateau with 145, 138 and  80 respectively.

Other states include Katsina-70, Gombe-52, Niger-31, Kano-23, Bayelsa -21, Bauchi-18, Ondo-18, Rivers-17, Ogun-12, Oyo-12, Edo – eight, Nasarawa- eight, Ebonyi- seven, Osun- six, Ekiti- five, Kebbi- five, Borno- four, Jigawa- three, Akwa Ibom- two and Anambra-one.

Sources said that while Nigeria may not opt for another lockdown, it is considering urgent measures including restricting movements and large gatherings around the country.

Said the source, “the government has no option than to wield the big stick and limit large gatherings and other measures. Based on our recent exprience, total lockdown is not being considered. Outside that, every other option is on the table but we are not going to use force this time. We are going to appeal to the conscience of the people to do the right thing.”

Already, the Anambra State government, whose State is already witnessing massive influx of citizens due to the Christmas and New Year celebrations, pleaded with its people, in a statement, “to attend social functions which are absolutely necessary and always observe a social distance of at least two metres. They are also encouraged to wear the face mask which must cover their nose and mouth, wash their hands regularly with running water and soap and apply hand sanitizers frequently. In addition, they are to cover their mouths with their elbows or disposable serviettes when they cough.

“Any person who loses his or her sense of taste or smell or experiences fever is advised to go for COVID-19 test. Even persons who do not show symptoms of the disease are encouraged to go for the test. Both the testing and treatment remain free in Anambra State. Early detection always results in successful case management or treatment.”

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