The Federal Government on Monday warned that despite recording just 138 cases in the past 24 hours and discharging 41,513 patients, after treatment, the figures may be deceptive, and cannot be assume that the nation has flattened the curve, since the country is yet to perfect due diligence on the virus.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Monday in Abuja at the 62nd joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
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“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. 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,” Ehanire warned.
According to him, testing has, for example, dropped quite significantly, due to reduced sample collection across many states, for reasons that are not clear in all cases.
The minister said that one state, for example, tested over 35 thousand in July and just under 20 thousand in August, while another state dropped from 23 thousand in July to just under four thousand in August.
“These are just examples that show that there is more work to do and many more challenges ahead. There is reason to worry that in States facing election, campaign activities cause caution to be thrown to the wind and covid-19 infection increases dramatically, while testing may decline due to frustration.
“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,” Ehanire said.
He added that with a total of 1,013 deaths recorded so far, the case fatality rate has also dropped slightly to 1.88 percent and that the gradual fall, possibly an indication of improvement in response and treatment strategies to contain COVID-19 and also a common global trend.