The number of new coronavirus cases across Nigeria rose last week for the sixth consecutive week, a PREMIUM TIMEs review of official data shows.
Nigeria recorded 4,269 cases last week (June 20 to 27) a 2.5 per cent increase compared to the 4,162 infections recorded the previous week, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Before that, the country had recorded an increase in weekly infections for four consecutive weeks.
The increase in new coronavirus cases last week occurred despite a reduction in the number of tests carried out.
A total of 16,106 tests were carried out last week, a 22 per cent reduction compared to the 20,588 tests conducted the previous week.
Recoveries Increased, Deaths reduced
While new infections increased, more Nigerians recovered from coronavirus last week than in the previous week, according to the official data.
A total of 1907 patients recovered and were discharged last week, a 22 per cent increase from the 1,077 who were discharged in the previous week.
Meanwhile, 52 deaths were reported between last Sunday and Saturday. This is a 50 per cent drop when compared with the 99 who lost their lives in the previous week.
Last week’s data of increased recoveries and reduced death occurred at the time global health agencies approved the use of dexamethasone for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
While many drug trials are still ongoing, a preliminary study showed that dexamethasone reduced mortality by about one third for patients on ventilators, and by about one-fifth for patients requiring only oxygen.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since approved the results of the clinical trials.
Although yet to be recommended for treatment by the NCDC, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, called on frontline clinicians to consider the use of dexamethasone in the treatment of COVID-19 across the country.
“Luckily, this medicine is not new. It is a well-known steroid that is used for other purposes but was found to be useful in this case (treatment of COVID-19). So it is easy to try it out because we already know its side effects. It is not a product that will get you worried about its possible side effects.