Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases exceed 8,000

ABUJA, NIGERIA - JANUARY 16: The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu makes a speech during the Lassa fever conference marking the 50 years of discovering the virus in Nigeria on January 16, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria. (Photo by Adam Abu Bashal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A health worker sprays his headset during a community testing exercise, as authorities race to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Abuja, Nigeria April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

Nigeria confirmed 229 new cases of COVID-19 late Monday, bringing the total to 8,068, including 233 deaths and 2,311 recoveries.

The new cases were recorded in 14 states and the Federal Capital Territory, said a statement released by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control(NCDC).

The country now has 5,524 active cases with a total of 45,683 samples tested so far.

Over the weekend, the Nigerian government said it will continue to scale up testing capacity for COVID-19 to limit transmission.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, head of the NCDC, said testing is critical to the national response.

Despite the increase of COVID-19 cases in the country, some states are relaxing lockdown measures to allow partial restoration of economic activities.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari earlier announced a ban on large social and religious gatherings in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, and Kano. He has also ordered a nationwide inter-state travel ban.

State governments also imposed lockdown in their respective domains.