Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health

PTF warns against complacency as Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases hit 54,008

*Reduced sample collection cum testing reasons for significantly low cases across many states ─Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire

*Plateau State is new pandemic hotbed with 35 cases as highest number of infected persons Monday

*We are yet to flatten the curve, government alerts Nigerians

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the reported relative carefree attitude of several Nigerians to observing the novel Coronavirus guidelines and protocols in recent times, the Federal Government has warned that despite recording just few COVID-19 cases in the past few days, the figures may be deceptive after all.

The government, however, maintains that people should not assume that the country has “flattened the curve” as it is yet to perfect due diligence on the ravaging virus.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health, at the 62nd joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 stated this Monday, August 31 in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister said: “In the past 24 hours, we recorded just 138 COVID-19 positive cases in Nigeria, one of the lowest numbers in many months, giving a total of 53,865 positive cases out of 403,347 tests conducted as of August 31, 2020.

“In the same 24-hour period, 199 persons were discharged from hospital, giving us total successful treatment of 41,513 patients.”

Dr. Ehanire warned that “we are beginning to see a situation where the number of those treated and discharged exceeds the number of positive cases detected.

“While these figures may seem reassuring, they may be deceptive; and we cannot assume that the curve is flattening, since we are yet to perfect due diligence on our side.”

Testing has, for example, dropped quite significantly, due to reduced sample collection across many states, for reasons that are not clear in all cases.

He noted that there is reason to worry, especially in certain states facing election and campaign activities where caution is reportedly thrown to the wind, and COVID-19 infection increasing dramatically.

Ehanire said: “I urge authorities in these states to remember the risks of crowding and ensure that government workers can do their work unhindered.

“I shall commission a study group of the Ministerial Experts Advisory Committee to begin processes to examine this development and bring up new knowledge which can guide response or may have an implication on government decision making.”

Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 cases have crossed 54,000 after 143 fresh infections were confirmed as of Monday night.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in a tweet via its verified Twitter account said the new cases, reported in 17 states and the FCT, take the number of confirmed infections in Nigeria to 54,008.

According to the NCDC, Nigeria’s new pandemic hotbed, Plateau State, had 35 cases as the highest number of infected persons for the day, while Kaduna State recorded 21.

Other states’ figures of fresh cases are Lagos–19, FCT–13, Ebonyi–9, Adamawa–7, Enugu–7, Katsina–7, Edo–6 and Kwara–5.

Three new persons were infected in Osun State, Anambra–2, Kano–2, Niger–2, Ogun– 2, Benue –1, Borno–1 and Sokoto–1.

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