ABUJA, Nigeria 

More than 540 new coronavirus cases have taken the nationwide tally here to over 38,000, authorities announced Thursday.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said 543 more COVID-19 cases and eight fatalities were recorded in the country in the past 24 hours.

The case count now stands at 38,344, including 15,815 recoveries and 813 deaths, according to the NCDC.

The commercial capital Lagos, Federal Capital Territory, and southwestern Oyo state are the hardest-hit region in Nigeria.

Since originating in China last December, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 623,000 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 15 million cases have been reported worldwide, while an excess of 8.6 million patients have recovered, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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