By Abujah Racheal
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 131 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday, increasing the caseload of infections to 56,735.
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Thursday.
It said the new cases were confirmed in 18 states.
The health agency said Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 45 cases, Kaduna and Plateau followed with 17 each, 16 in FCT, and 6 cases each in Delta and Niger.
Kwara recorded 5 cases, Oyo 3, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Enugu, and Osun 2 each.
Others were, Sokoto 2, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Katsina, and Rivers 1 each.
The agency said that in the past 24 hours, 2 persons died from the virus.
According to the agency, till date, 56,735 cases have been confirmed, 48,092 discharged, and 1093 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3, had continued to coordinate national response activities across the country.
Meanwhile, as Edo prepares for governorship election on Sept. 19, the agency has reminded voters of the need to observe COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It advised all relevant stakeholders to take actions that would help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus during the election.
“As you are aware, the governorship election is holding in Edo this weekend but the pandemic still poses an additional challenge.
“A few months ago, we developed the guidelines for conducting elections during the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
”These guidelines are actually for the political parties, electorate, the election monitors, INEC, and other relevant stakeholders.
”The guidelines actually provide recommendations and actions that should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election,” it noted.
The agency warned that the virus thrives in mass gatherings such as there are during elections.
It, therefore, warned that failure to adhere to public health and non-pharmaceutical measures could create possibility of infection.
“We just got a story of someone that went somewhere and brought a secondary infection and of course causing deaths to the vulnerable and we need to avoid that.
“So mass gatherings during election will likely occur, and the only way to conduct election without putting anyone at risk of contracting the COVID-19 is to comply with the protective measures at all times.
“And so we recommend the following: Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations.
“Provide additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing can be maintained with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Make the use of face mask by everyone mandatory, and ensure regular cleaning of polling stations, tables, and other surfaces.
“Those are areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiple hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser should be provided.
”All staff at the polling unit should practice hand hygiene frequently. Of course when you meet with people you need to do that regularly,” it said.
”We know INEC has put a lot in place and we are also employing our people to also adhere to those non-pharmaceutical measures so that we don’t take home the virus to our loved ones, especially vulnerable ones,” NCDC added.