Nigeria has confirmed 386 new cases of COVID-19, taking the country’s total to 3,912.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, in its daily update noted that 386 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria on Friday.
The 386 new cases were reported from 20 states- Lagos (176), Kano(65), Katsina (31), FCT(20), Borno(17), Bauchi(15), Nasarawa (14), Ogun(13), Plateau(10), Oyo(4), Sokoto(4), Rivers(4), Kaduna(3), Edo(2), Ebonyi(2), Ondo(2), Enugu(1), Imo(1), Gombe(1), Osun(1).
“3912 cases have been confirmed, 679 cases have been discharged and 117 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory. No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours,” the agency noted.
Meanwhile the Federal Government has raised the alarm that the rising number of COVID-19 cases is outweighing the capacities of the isolation centres across the country.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this on Friday in Abuja, at the 28th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, the government may have to consider other ‘inconvenient’ options for isolation as states across the country are being overwhelmed by the sharp rise in new cases of COVID-19.
“Therefore, it is becoming increasing difficult for the government to sustain its policy on institutional isolation of all the cases, whether they be asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic or severe.
“We have a big challenge across the country right now especially in Lagos, Kano, and Zamfara. There are a few states where the number of new cases are outweighing the capacity to continue implementing our policy of institutional isolation of all the cases, whether you are asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, or severe. This is the current policy.
“Right now, the reality that we are facing is that the implementation of that policy is very difficult.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we confirmed 158 new cases in Lagos. It means that by today if we are to follow that policy, Lagos has to find 158 new bed spaces in a single day. And I can tell you that this evening we will have another set of new cases confirmed in Lagos,” Ihekweazu said.
He said that this shows that no country has found it easy across the world to increase the hospital space capacity by 300, 400, or 500 percent, which is what is required in response to this outbreak using the current policy.
He said, “So, we are considering other options and over the next few days we will share this options with you.
“This is not because these are options we will like to consider but are options that we are forced into considering.
“The reality is that at the moment a good number of all our patients are not in the institutions in the isolation centres because we are struggling with capacity across the country.
“I really empathise with states government that are working so hard not only to provide the facility, but also to feed, provide security, basic infrastructure.
“I was in Kano last weekend and went around the new treatment centre that everybody was rushing to get ready. But it is not simple and there is no simple solution to this.
“The Federal Government, the States Government and everybody is struggling with how to rapidly increase capacity to provide venue to care for 300 or 400 new patients that we are confirming every day.”
On the issue of testing, he said, “For test kits, we have plus or minus about 30,000 at the moment.
“We have a supply chain that is established, so test kits are not what you buy in the millions and keep in the warehouse because they are subject to environmental conditions and all sorts of issues.
“We have planned for two million test kits over the next three months that are already in the procurement process, not only from the Federal Government but with all our UN partners that are coming to the table to support us.”
Answering question on the Lagos State producing reagents for testing for the COVID-19, the NCDC boss said it is not a competition because Lagos is part of Nigeria and that if Lagos produce anything, government will be happy and use it to strengthen the national response.