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Seven deaths as NCDC confirms 476 new COVID-19 infections



Seven people were confirmed to have died of COVID complications on Thursday, increasing Nigeria’s fatality toll to 992.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the new deaths in its update for August 20.

According to the agency, 476 new positive samples were recorded in 17 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), and Lagos topped the list with 235 infections.

Thursday figure of new cases signified a slight drop in the number of positive samples recorded on Wednesday when 593 infections were confirmed.

However, recoveries increased by a slim margin with 265 patients discharged – a total of 37,569 people have now recovered across the country.

A total of 50,964 cases have now been confirmed in 36 states and the FCT.

Meanwhile, the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 has expressed concern about the low turnout for tests.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the PTF and secretary to the government of the federation, emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace voluntary testing.

“So far, our national response has shown that Nigeria is following the science through effective case management, but we need to improve our testing. Our testing infrastructure has been increased to undertake up to 15,000 tests per day but we are currently testing between 3,000 to 6,000 daily due mainly to people still not subjecting themselves for testing. I, therefore, want to seize this opportunity to enjoin Nigerians to get tested,” he said.

“The PTF continues to analyse and rely on data to forestall any sign of upsurge and adapting best global practices to sustain successes. That Nigeria, along with South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Algeria, contributed to the recorded lowest weekly coronavirus confirmed cases is a testament of our successes.

“The challenge, therefore, remains for us to improve on the path of driving the pandemic out of Nigeria so that we can go back to our normal lives.”

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Crying is seen as a negative emotion. Well, it is true to an extent since people cry when they are not happy with something in life. But, not many people know that there are positive aspects to crying. Research has shown that crying can give you health benefits. Let us look at 9 health benefits of crying one by one.


Crying relieves your body of a stress hormone called cortisol. Even though cortisol has some benefits, people who are prone to stress have higher levels which is quite dangerous to their mind and body. Crying can reduce the cortisol levels in the body which in turn can lower your stress. So, the next time you find yourself stressed due to your job or your personal issues, find a private space where you can have a cry!


Emotional pain is sometimes tougher to handle than physical pain. You can use painkillers to quickly relieve yourself of pain, but the same trick won’t be useful with emotional pain. People often see emotional pain as a sign of depression. Psychiatrists prescribe medications which can do more harm than good. Those medications may provide some temporary relief, but they can give you harmful side effects too. One of the natural ways to relieve emotional pain is crying. Scientists have done studies on crying which showed that crying can release neurotransmitters in the brain which can alleviate emotional pain.


This should be one of the most surprising health benefits of crying. Scientists say that crying is effective in killing harmful bacteria in the body. They attribute this anti-bacterial property to a particular enzyme called lysozyme. This enzyme is present in tears that come down from your eyes while crying. It is said that lysozyme can kill bacteria within 15 minutes. There have been experiments which have shown that tears can even fight bacteria which cause anthrax. Lysozyme can destroy the cell walls of bacteria which would eventually result in the destruction of the bacteria. So, next time when you cry, make sure you get tears and also try to swallow some of the tears instead of wiping it off.


Crying can improve your vision. Again, tears coming out while crying is responsible for this. Tears have the ability to lubricate your eyelids and eyeballs. They actually end up hydrating your eyes. Dehydration is one of the common causes of deteriorating eyesight. But, tears can naturally offset this problem. It is common knowledge that dust particles can cause eye problems. But, tears have the ability to take away the dust particles in your eye. Tears can also hydrate mucous membranes present near the eyes. So, the next time you feel itchy in your eyes or your vision seems blurry, try crying with tears.


Newborn babies cry a lot. The crying sound can sometimes be deafening and you may think that something is wrong with the baby. But, crying is actually good for babies. As a matter of fact, it is not a good sign if a newborn baby isn’t crying as it may be a sign that the baby is facing breathing difficulties. Most newborn babies cry naturally. But, if a baby is not crying, then doctors try different things such as holding the baby upside down or dipping the baby in cold water just to make the baby cry. This is actually known as a baby’s first cry and is extremely vital for the baby’s breathing once the umbilical cord is cut.


Making babies sleep is a common challenge that parents face. When a baby cries, its parents try hard to stop it from crying. But, letting him or her cry can help the baby sleep. Parents should learn a technique called ‘controlled crying’ which is effective in inducing sleep in an infant. It is said that a baby sleeps longer after crying and the chances of the baby waking up in between sleep is also reduced as the baby tends to go into a state of deep sleep after controlled crying.

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We all have the erroneous idea of thinking that ripe and delicious food are safe, and bitter ones are bad and dangerous for our health – but this is not necessarily true. There are foods we eat every day and keep in our fridges that we actually shouldn’t be eating, and here is a list of 10 foods we find delicious but which could harm us – or in higher quantities kill us.


It is okay to eat and enjoy natural fruits, but consuming their pits or hard core could be fatal in many ways. Eating the pits of cherry, peach, apricot, peach or olives is bad for your health – and it does not matter if they are ground into a powder. The pits of these among other fruits contain prussic acid – a type of hydrogen cyanide which is often used in fumigating solutions and organic compounds. Eat only the ripe flesh of these fruits and avoid their central pits.


Who doesn’t love potatoes? A potato is an underground stolon that bears edible starchy tubers and widely cultivated as a garden vegetable. Its vines are poisonous. Potatoes are eaten as a staple in many households, its leaves, stem and tuber contain glycoalkaloids which has been associated with diarrhea, headaches, confusion, cramps, and in rare cases coma and death.


Honey is sweet to the tongue and almost every household in the entire world have a bottle for consumption. Honey can also be applied in various ways to meet domestic needs, but its raw form can be deadly if care is not taken. Raw honey is never pasteurized to destroy the toxins injected by bees in it, making it contain grayanotoxin. High levels of grayanotoxin is known to cause nausea, dizziness, body weakness, sweating, and vomiting among others.


Cassava is only known as tapioca in many parts of the world, and it is largely consumed as a family staple in Africa. Cassava is also a rich source of starch, and other substances. It can be eaten boiled, made into chips, or converted to several kinds of household meals. But hold on! Scientific research suggests the crop is high in linamarine and its tuber is rich in cyanide – an organic compound that could be very poisonous and quite deadly to consumers.


Do you have a bottle of cashew nuts in your home? Almost everyone does because it is available in supermarkets and various community stores. While everyone enjoys the crunchy snack, little do people know that the nut contains the chemical urushiol, also found in poison ivy. The urushiol toxin has been removed from cashew nuts you buy in supermarkets, so it is very dangerous and fatal to consume raw cashew nuts. Many people are allergic to cashew nuts and it is best for such people avoid the nut completely, raw or roasted.


Tuna fish is usually served as steak and quite delicious to the palate. But tuna frequently absorbs mercury which is very harmful to the body. Mercury can damage the organs of the body and be very deadly to children and pregnant women if consumed in tuna. Consuming a single steak of tuna may not harm you, but consuming tuna fish frequently over a long period of time could cause deposits of mercury to build up on your body, causing organ damage.


Tomatoes are used to prepare stew and used in salads among other household meals. But only the fruit is safe to eat, tomato leaves and stems can induce digestive problems due to the alkali chemicals they contain. So if you enjoy consuming tomatoes as a vegetable in salads and meals, avoid eating its leaves or stem, and do not consume unripe tomato fruits because these can be quite deadly.

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