Nigeria tops West Africa Covid-19 infections with 3,526 cases, Ghana 3,091

The continuous increase in the number of infections has risen due to the increased capacity for testing across the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said.
A health worker takes a swab from a woman during a community COVID-19 coronavirus testing campaign in Abuja on April 15, 2020. – The Nigerian government commence search and sample collections of eligible cases as they struggle to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as cases rise in Nigeria amidst lockdown. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Nigeria and Ghana currently top the Covid-19 infections across West Africa after both countries passed over 3,000 cases on Thursday, a News Central analysis of data showed.

With the new cases, Africa Centre for Disease Control’s data on Friday showed that West Africa now has 15,213 novel coronavirus cases with 343 deaths and 4,599 recoveries.

Nigeria confirmed its highest daily infection of 381 new cases of COVID-19 late Thursday, bringing the total number to 3,526, including 107 deaths and 601 recoveries while Ghana reported 372 fresh cases, a death toll of 18 and 303 recoveries with total cases at 3,091. Guinea comes third with a total of 1,927 confirmed cases, 11 deaths and 629 recoveries.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control(NCDC) which gave the update in a statement, said the new cases were recorded in 18 out of 36 states and the capital, Abuja.

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The continuous increase in the number of infections has risen due to the increased capacity for testing across the country, the NCDC said.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC, said the center is making use of data to drive response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the country.

Ihekweazu highlighted how data is being used to drive the public health response to the COVID-19, adding that the agency developed an electronic data collecting tool after the Ebola outbreak.

After the epidemic hit Nigeria on Feb. 27, the country took drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus in the most populous African country.

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On April 27, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures effective in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the two states of Lagos and Ogun from May 4, as the country continues to fight COVID-19.

The restrictions on social and religious gatherings will remain in place with a night time curfew from 8pm to 6am, said the president. 

In Ghana, one more province has also reported a confirmed case, leaving only three out of the 16 regions without COVID-19 infections in the country, a Xinxua news report said.

According to the Ghana Health Service, the West African country has also recorded nine more recoveries, taking its total number of recovered cases to 303, while the death toll remained at 18.

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The head of public health of the GHS, Badu Sarkodie said on Tuesday that Ghana had reached the peak of its infections, but more efforts are needed to ensure a decline.

In other regions, South Africa leads the continent and Southern Africa with 8,232 cases; Egypt leads North Africa with 7,981 cases; Cameroon leads Central Africa with 2,267 and Djibouti leads East Africa with 1,133 cases, Africa CDC data showed on Friday.

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