Nigeria recorded a significant spike in its daily fatality toll on Tuesday as 31 persons were confirmed to have died of COVID-19 complications in the last 24 hours.
A total of 455 COVID-19 deaths have now been recorded in the country.
This was announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its update for June 16, 2020.
In the data released at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, the agency also confirmed 490 new COVID-19 cases in 15 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
While Lagos had 142 new cases and FCT recorded 60 cases, Bayelsa confirmed its highest daily toll with 54 cases, increasing the state’s figures from 32 to 86.
Bayelsa has now moved 11 spots upwards from being the fourth state with the least number of cases; it is now the 22nd state with the most COVID-19 cases in the country.
However, a record total of 274 persons were discharged on Tuesday, increasing the number of recoveries from 5,349 to 5,623.
A total of 17,148 cases have now been confirmed in 35 states and the FCT.
Earlier on Tuesday, a team of medical researchers from Oxford University announced results of a drug trial involving dexamethasone, a widely available steroid, which they said could help high-risk COVID-19 patients recover fast.
However, a statement issued by the NCDC later on Tuesday, emphasised that while there will be further research to determine the efficacy of the drug trials on COVID-19 treatment, the federal government has not approved any treatment for coronavirus disease.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is aware of recent outcomes from a UK-Government funded clinical trial for COVID-19. The results support the use of Dexamethsaone as a possible treatment to reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, who require oxygen or mechanical ventilation,” it read.
“Please note that the Government of Nigeria has not validated or approved any treatment for COVID-19. In addition, the use of Dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment has not been validated by WHO.
“We are aware of ongoing clinical trials conducted by scientists in the UK and will work with our sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone. We will inform the general public on outcomes following scientific review and validation.”