By Ebuka Onyeji
After more than two months of relief, Nigeria on Monday recorded her highest fatality figure since the outbreak of the coronavirus infection in the country in February, 2020.
According to an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on its verified Twitter handle on Monday night, Nigeria recorded 28 deaths in a day.
The new fatality figure toppled the previous record of 27 deaths recorded on January 30, 2021, and has now raised the country's death toll to 2,099 in total.
Similarly, for the first time, Benue State, North-central Nigeria, has led in the daily infection tally with 178 cases out of the 203 reported across five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The disease centre noted that Lagos, which usually habitually leads the chart, only recorded 10 cases on Monday while Ondo recorded six, and both Kaduna and the FCT recorded four cases each. Plateau State also makes the list with a single case.
Spike?With the new 203 infections and 28 deaths, experts fear a possible spike in the dangerous cases might already be here.
The new figure has raised the total infection in the country to 166,518.
Until Monday, infections had reduced significantly in Nigeria with an average of less than 100 per day in nearly one month. Also, only nine deaths had been recorded in the past 54 days until the latest fatality figure.
The news of the arrival of more than 200 travellers considered as "health hazards" for evading mandatory protocol, had raised fear of a possible spike.
Health experts warned against letting the guard down on safety with many countries such as India, Brazil and Turkey entering the third wave of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, about two-thirds of the over 166,000 infected persons have recovered after treatment.
According to NCDC data, 156,781 people have been treated and discharged since the disease began spreading in the country.
More than one million tests have been conducted in Nigeria out of an estimated 200 million population.
About two million people have received, at least, their first shots of the Oxford vaccines.