COVID-19 cases, deaths highest in June

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There is no end in sight yet for COVID-19 as cases have risen since the lockdown was eased, figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has shown.

According to the agency, Nigeria recorded 60.5 per cent of its total confirmed COVID-19 cases in June.

Investigation showed that the country recorded its highest number of deaths – 51.5 per cent, in the same month.

The total number of cases since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic (February 29 till May 31) is 10,162. There were 15,532 cases in June alone.

Also, the total number of deaths from COVID-19 from the beginning of the outbreak on February 27 with the Italian index case, to date is 590. June alone recorded 303.

However, the data shows that the country had its highest test in June – 72,577 (52.4 per cent).

President Buhari, on March 29, declared a two-week lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.

On April 12, the President announced the extension of the lockdown by two weeks.

However, on April 27, President Buhari approved a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown with effect from May 4.

On May 18, the Federal Government extended the gradual easing of the lockdown by two weeks.

Then on June 1, the government approved the second phase of the eased lockdown which lasted for four weeks (June 2-29).

On Monday, President Buhari, extended the second phase of the relaxed lockdown by four weeks (June 30 to July 27).

However, the percentage increase from the beginning of the easing of the lockdown (May 4 to date reveals that the country has recorded nearly 817 per cent increase till date.

The figure as of May 4 was 2,802, while the figure as of June 30 was 25,694.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday warned of flare-ups in the number of COVID-19 cases globally as countries lift restrictions and open up their economies.

The WHO also said globally, in the past week, confirmed cases have exceeded 160,000 daily.

It urged countries to engage a comprehensive approach, which includes finding, isolating, testing and treating cases.

Others are tracing and quarantining every contact, equipping and training health workers and educating communities to protect themselves and others.

The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during a briefing yesterday that: “more than 10.3 million cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to WHO, and more than 506,000 deaths.

He said: “For the past week, the number of new cases has exceeded 160,000 every single day. Sixty per cent of all cases so far have been reported just in the past month.

“We will never get tired of saying that the best way out of this pandemic is to take a comprehensive approach.”

Worried by the rising figures, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Rev. Samson Ayokunle and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar Mohammadu III, have called for three-day fasting and prayer (tagged Nineveh) from Friday to Sunday.

Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), in a statement by CAN’s General Secretary Joseph Daramola, said: “The NIREC leadership appreciates the efforts of members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 who have done all that is humanly possible to animate and create awareness on how to keep safe from infection of the coronavirus.

“In furtherance of this effort, NIREC calls for three days fasting and prayers (July 3-5, 2020) for every Nigerian.

“The Muslims will begin on Friday, 3 July 2020 by praying in the Abuja National Mosque. Christians will end the prayer on Sunday 5 July, 2020 in the National Christian Centre, Abuja at 3:00 pm.

“Selected Christian leaders have been invited to participate in this all-important programme.

“These prayers will respect social distancing. NIREC has asked everybody to seek the face of God in fasting and prayers for God to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and we must all take part in our different homes.”

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