Nigeria’s government has issued a fresh warning to citizens to take preventive measures against the coronavirus as the country’s death toll nears 1,000.

“Half of all cases in Nigeria so far are concentrated in 20 Local Government areas, which could offer the attractive option of targeted attention, to focus on case finding, isolation and treatment,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said Monday as quoted by local website Daily Post.

“The figures show that Nigeria is also sadly approaching the symbolic 1,000 number of fatalities, a grim reality that should be a wakeup call for us,” Ehanire added.

The nationwide death toll has reached 950 and the case-count has hit 46,867, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

With roughly 16,000 infections, the commercial capital Lagos remains the area hardest hit by the virus in the country.

It is followed by the Federal Capital Territory, which includes the capital Abuja, where nearly 4,500 cases have been confirmed to date, and the southwestern Oyo state with over 2,800 cases.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 731,000 people worldwide, with nearly 19.87 million confirmed cases and over 12.12 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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