Nigeria has recorded 595 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the total infections from the coronavirus in the country to 34,854.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), disclosing this late Thursday night said, as of July 16, apart from the 595 new confirmed cases, nine deaths were also recorded in the country.
According to NCDC, till date, 34,854 cases have been confirmed, 14,292 cases have been discharged and 769 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The health agency said that the 595 new cases were reported from 24 states, Lagos (156), Ondo (95), Rivers (53), Abia (43), Oyo (38), Enugu (29), Edo (24), FCT (23) and Kaduna (20).
Others were 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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian government aimed 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.
“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,” it advised.
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.