ANKARA

Authorities in Nigeria reported 180 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the country’s overall count since March past 63,500.

“Till date, 63,508 cases have been confirmed, 59,748 cases have been discharged, and 1,155 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in its daily update.

With over 21,500 infections, commercial capital Lagos remains Nigeria’s worst-hit city.

It is followed by the Federal Capital Territory, which includes the capital Abuja, with more than 6,100 cases, and the southwestern Plateau State, where over 3,600 cases have been confirmed to date.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is among the five hardest-hit countries on the continent, along with South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, and Ethiopia.

Osagie Ehanire, the country’s health minister, said the government has signed an agreement with a company for local production of COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the company, Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, has been working with the government “for the production of safe & affordable vaccines for Nigeria and prospectively Africa,” according to a post on the Health Ministry’s Twitter account.

“This Memorandum of Understanding will serve as an implementation framework for guaranteeing market access, which is conditional for transfer of technology to indigenous vaccine manufacturers,” the minister said.

Since last December, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 1.23 million lives around the world, according to data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

More than 48.76 million infections have been recorded across the globe, with recoveries now over 32.24 million, latest figures show.

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