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COVID-19: NCDC suspends daily testing updates

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stopped publishing figures of samples tested daily for COVID-19 across Nigeria.

The agency did not give reasons for the development but said it would henceforth provide the figure weekly.

In the January 24-30 week, NCDC said it collected 61,180 samples for testing, a figure that is much lower than the 87,092 tests carried out in the preceding week.

The previous week’s record took to 1,302, 410 the number of tests conducted in Nigeria since the pandemic broke out in February last year.

However, for week January 31 to February 6, the agency did not publish the number of tests carried out as the figure has remained 1, 302, 410 on its microsite.

However, the NCDC spokesperson, Emeka Oguanuo, said the testing rate will now be updated weekly, starting from Monday. But he did not give a reason for the change.

“Will now be updated weekly. Monday,” he said in the text message.

However, as of 10 a.m. on Monday, the agency was yet to update the data.

The absence of the figure for the week makes it impossible to determine the current rate of positive tests for the virus in Nigeria.

A reduction in weekly infections does not mean progress in the fight against the pandemic because of the missing variables.

For instance, according to the previous week’s tests data, despite the decrease in new cases that week, the positivity rate was still higher than 16 per cent, indicating that a lot of persons are still at risk of contracting the virus.

Also, for the second time in a row, Nigeria recorded fewer COVID-19 infections compared to the previous week’s record.

In the previous week, this newspaper reported that 9,955 persons tested positive for the disease, 14 per cent lower than were reported in the preceding week.

However, in the January 31-February 6 week, 8,685 persons tested positive. This represents a 12 per cent reduction over the previous week’s data.

While PREMIUM TIMES cannot point out the reason for the decline because of the missing testing rate, it is advisable for people to keep adhering to safety precautions such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks.

Further analysis showed that the number of COVID-19 patients discharged after treatment increased while mortality reduced.

While 7,811 recovered and were discharged in the previous week, 8, 845 patients were discharged last week.

On the other hand, 76 died from COVID-19 complications in the previous week but 69 died last week.

As of the time of reporting, Nigeria has 139, 242 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 112, 557 have been discharged and 1, 647 deaths have been recorded in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 51, 633 cases, followed by FCT – 17, 796, Plateau — 8, 297, Kaduna — 7, 804, Oyo — 5, 900, Rivers — 5, 706 Edo — 3, 993, Ogun — 3, 553, Kano — 3, 300, Delta — 2, 396, Ondo — 2, 416, Kwara — 2, 069, Katsina — 1, 901, Enugu — 1, 829, Gombe — 1, 770, Nasarawa — 1, 970, Osun — 1, 794, Ebonyi — 1, 540, Abia— 1, 338, Bauchi — 1, 164, Imo— 1, 194, Borno — 1040, Akwa Ibom — 1, 090, Anambra — 1, 271, Benue — 917, Sokoto — 759, Bayelsa — 695, Niger — 847, Adamawa — 673, Ekiti — 634, Jigawa — 484, Taraba — 496, Kebbi — 270, Yobe— 241, Cross River— 212, Zamfara — 215 and Kogi — 5.

Lagos State has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the country.

The other five states with high numbers of confirmed cases are FCT, Kaduna, Plateau, Oyo and Rivers states.

Only Kogi State did not record a new case last week.

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