COVID-19: Nigeria’s daily toll hits record high with 681 new cases on Thursday

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For the second time in one week, Nigeria on Thursday broke its record of the highest daily toll of new COVID-19 cases in the country with 681 new confirmed cases.

The country had on June 9 recorded 663 new cases, a figure, which as of the time it was announced, was the highest daily toll.

However, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced the new figure on Thursday via its official Twitter handle, stating that as of June 11, Nigeria recorded a total of 14,554 cases with five new deaths.

The agency said that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.

NCDC said Lagos State reported more than half of the new cases with 345 infections with Rivers State a distant second with 51 new cases.

Other states with new infections include Ogun (48), Gombe (47), Oyo (36), Imo (31), Delta (28), Kano (23), Bauchi (18), Edo (12), Katsina (12), Kaduna (9), Anambra (7), Jigawa (5), Kebbi (4), Ondo (4), and Nasarawa (1).

The NCDC said that till date, 14,554 cases have been confirmed, 9673 active cases 4,494 cases have been treated and discharged and 387 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Meanwhile, the health agency said it will commence the usage of the GeneXpert machines to test for COVID-19 cases beginning from June 14.

“We are ready to do that GeneXpert labs in locations and will start functioning on June 14,” the body said.

GeneXpert machines, manufactured by the US-based firm, Cepheid, is one of the most widely-used TB diagnostic tools globally.

Nigeria currently has at least 400 GeneXpert instruments deployed in 399 health facilities across the country meant for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis.

NCDC said that with the challenge of limited kits for COVID-19 testing in the country, some of these machines in each state will be re-configured for COVID-19 testing.

“Each of the GeneXpert instruments in the country has 4-testing modules with testing capacity of about 24 samples per day.

“There are also available in the country two mobile laboratories equipped with two GeneXpert instruments each.

“These will be deployed as needed to support COVID-19 testing surge in target states,” NCDC stated.

The agency stated that it has been working hard over the last two weeks to distribute the cartridges to the first seven centres to train them to make sure they are ready and on June 14 they will start testing.

The NCDC, however, decried the poor turnout of test samples from the states across the country.

The body stated that though the available laboratories could test up to 10,000 samples per day, they were only working at about 10 to 20 percent of their capacity.

“The labs are there, the samples are not coming in as sufficiently as we want.

We have this weekend for every state to push harder,” it stated.

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