Nigeria’s Covid-19 cases dropping due to low testing – PTF

The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 says the decline in the country’s Coronavirus infection rate is because the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has collected low testing samples across states of the federation.

The PTF also warned Nigerians against celebrating the reduced positive cases being reported as a flattening of the COVID-19 curve.

Speaking during the PTF briefing on Monday in Abuja, the Head of Disease Surveillance for the NCDC, Elsie Ilori, said: “In the month of August, we had very low number of samples collected.

“In July, there were seven states with decreased samples collected, but unfortunately, in August, it increased to 32 states with decreased samples collection. In July, we had 13 states that actually collected over 1,000 samples. For August, no state met that target. That means we had zero states collecting over 1,000 samples.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said: “Our target is to test two million Nigerians for COVID-19 and to scale up to four million persons of which we have achieved barely a quarter.

“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 hospitals, 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.

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