The Federal Government has warned that the apparently fewer COVID-19 positive cases of the past few days should not be a reason to rejoice or to lower the guard.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Monday in Abuja at the 58th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

This is as he said that, as of Monday, 17 August 2020, Nigeria has recorded 49,068 COVID-19 cases from 352,625 samples tested so far, with 36,497 persons successfully treated and discharged.

He equally said the nation sadly recorded 975 deaths and a case fatality rate still about two percent.

“We continue to strive to lower the case fatality rate to less than one percent, because we believe more lives can be saved from COVID-19, with the knowledge and system strengthening we have achieved over the past six months, even though I hasten to add that we do not yet know enough about COVID-19,” Ehanire said.

He said that what is sure of so far, is that a strong response to COVID-19 is a collaborative effort between citizenry and government for the benefit of all Nigerians and that while the government provides direction, guidance, and resources, citizens are to take ownership of the response.

“The apparently fewer COVID-19 positive cases of the past few days give us no reason to rejoice or to lower our guard.

“As we expand and include small towns and rural areas in our testing scope, a more accurate picture of our COVID-19 status will emerge.

“There is good reason to prepare for COVID-19 invasion of rural areas with testing, first aid, ambulance service, and commensurate Isolation and treatment centers,” the minister said.

He, however, expressed concern with the development in many overseas countries, of a sharp upsurge in COVID-19 cases, after they lifted or relaxed restrictions in air travel, commerce, and especially in social activities.