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We have tested 262,579 Nigerians for COVID-19 —Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said on Monday 262,579 Nigerians had been tested for COVID-19 in the last five months.

Ehanire stated this at the 53rd national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He said: “With 262,579 persons tested, we have crossed the quarter-million mark. When the epidemic curve will begin to flatten is still a matter of conjecture, given the relatively small fraction of our population that has been tested so far.”

According to him, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country crossed the 40,000 mark to 40,534 over the weekend, with 555 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.

He, however, said 17,374 had been successfully treated and discharged, while the nation regrettably recorded 858 deaths, most of them with co-morbidities.

READ ALSO: CORONAVIRUS: 90% of infected patients will recover —Health Minister

The minister said 60 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) public health laboratories were now active in the country, which together should be in a position to address testing capacity challenges and ramp up utilization if only the logistics could be improved.

Ehanire said co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, among others, were common among all fatalities.

The minister added: “They underscore the need to protect senior citizens and the vulnerable from infection, by giving special attention to risk communication and priority for admission for observation and treatment.

“Of utmost concern are still the asymptomatic cases, with the potential to spread the disease, of whom the young and able-bodied can be difficult to manage.”

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