The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on all health services in the country as the Federal Government says  outpatient visits to hospitals nationwide have reduced by half.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire,  who stated this on Thursday at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19,  said that latest statistics obtained by the Federal Government showed that pregnant women and other outpatients’ visits to hospitals had dropped by half.

He also said immunisation services had reduce by half.

Ehanire, however, said the gradual easing of the lockdown in the country would address the problems.

Although Nigeria recorded its COVID-19 index case on  February 27,  as of Wednesday, no fewer than 4, 971 persons had been diagnosed with the deadly virus.

Also, out of the figure, 1,070 patients have successfully treated and discharged, while 164  have died.

The virus has killed pregnant women in states such as Ekiti, Jigawa and Ogun. On April 22, a 29-year-old pregnant woman, who sneaked into Ekiti State from Lagos State, died of the virus.

At the PTF press briefing on Thursday, Ehanire quoted figures from the National Health Management Information System.

He said that while outpatient visits to hospitals dropped from four million to about 2 million, antenatal visits dropped from 1.3 million to 655,000.

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