Last week’s record of 43 new COVID-19 deaths is the highest in four weeks, a PREMIUM TIMES review of official data shows.
According to data sourced from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the last time Nigeria recorded more deaths than last week was the 54 deaths reported in the 32nd week of the pandemic (August 2- August 8).
The data also showed that the tally of 43 deaths last week represents a 67 per cent increase to the 14 deaths recorded in the previous week.
Fewer cases, recoveries
A PREMIUM TIMES analysis further showed that fewer cases were reported last week, the 36th week of the pandemic in Nigeria.
Last week’s record of 1,178 new COVID-19 cases is Nigeria’s lowest in four months. The last time the country recorded a lower weekly figure was the 1,206 cases recorded in the week between April 29 and May 2.
Also, the 1,178 cases represent a 35 per cent reduction when compared to the previous week’s record of 1,822 infections, which in itself was the lowest weekly record in three months.
Not only was last week’s record of 1,178 cases the lowest in four months, but the 124 new cases recorded on Thursday was also the lowest daily figure in nearly four months.
While last week’s fewer cases could be further evidence of the receding nature of the virus in the country, it could also have been the effect of reduced testing.
A total of 18,473 samples was tested last week compared to the 24,277 samples collected in the previous week; a 23 per cent reduction.
Nigeria’s testing numbers continue to reduce despite now having 70 molecular laboratories across the country.
Federal authorities last week blamed the low testing on the fewer collection of samples by state governments.
Also, a total of 1,608 persons recovered from the disease and were discharged last week, which represents a 36 per cent reduction when compared to the 2,547 persons discharged in the previous week.
More emphasis is being placed on compliance with COVID-19 protocols particularly amid plans to reopen schools in Osun, Kogi, Anambra and Lagos states.
The reopening of schools is, however, happening in spite of warning signals from the federal government.
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairperson, presidential task force on COVID-19, said as the nation plans to re-open more sectors, “everyone must stay the course and stick with the winning strategy which is anchored on the ability of our health institutions to contain the virus.”
He urged citizens to “wear facemasks properly, stay away from crowded places, avoid mass gatherings, maintain simple hygienic practices and as much as possible protect the elderly and most vulnerable to this pandemic.”
Nigeria so far
As of the time of reporting, Nigeria has 54,905 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 42,922 have been discharged and 1,054 deaths have been recorded in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 18,308 cases, followed by FCT – 5,279, Oyo — 3,187 , Edo — 2,594, Rivers — 2,175, Kano — 1,727, Delta — 1,768, Kaduna — 2,189, Ogun — 1,678, Plateau — 2,720, Ondo — 1,561, Enugu — 1,184, Ebonyi — 1,014 , Kwara — 982, Katsina — 812, Borno — 741, Abia — 807, Gombe — 744, Osun — 795, Bauchi — 669, Imo — 534, Benue — 460, Nasarawa — 437, Bayelsa — 391, Jigawa — 322, Akwa Ibom — 280, Niger — 244, Adamawa — 228, Ekiti — 282, Sokoto — 159, Anambra — 221, Kebbi — 93, Zamfara — 78, Taraba — 87, Cross River— 83, Yobe — 67 and Kogi — 5.
Lagos State remains the epicentre for the disease with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the country.
The other five states with the highest number of confirmed cases are FCT, Oyo, Edo, Plateau and Rivers states.
Of all the 36 states and the FCT, Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara, Taraba, Yobe and Kogi did not record at least a fresh case last week. Also, there are currently no COVID-19 patients in Zamfara, Yobe and Kogi states.
Timeline last week
On Sunday last week, 138 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
As of 11:55 pm on August 30, a total of 54,865 cases had been reported, out of which 41,513 had recovered with 1,013 deaths recorded.
On Monday, 143 new cases were reported in the country.
On Tuesday, 239 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
On Wednesday, 216 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Thursday, 124 new cases were reported in Nigeria, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 54,587.
On Friday, 156 new cases were recorded.
On Saturday, 162 new cases were reported in Nigeria, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 54,905 as of 11:55 p.m. on September 5.