Last week, coronavirus cases in Nigeria increased while fewer persons recovered, according to official data.
A PREMIUM TIMES review of data by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that the country recorded 1,905 new cases in the past week, a 22 per cent increase from the 1,470 cases reported in the previous week (May 10- May 16).
Also, a total of 707 patients recovered and were discharged last week, which represents a 3.4 per cent drop when compared to the 727 patients discharged in the previous week.
However, 45 new deaths were recorded across the country last week as against the 47 reported in the previous week.
Lagos State remains the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria with 984 new cases after it recorded the highest daily figure for the week (133) on Saturday.
Cases in Lagos also increased when compared to the 606 new cases recorded in the state in the previous week.
Also, the cases in Oyo State rose from 107 to 233 cases last week. Out of the 126 new cases, over 67 were reported to be workers at a customer experience management firm in Ibadan, iSON Xperiences.
The Oyo State Government said it has fumigated and shut down the firm’s office located on the third floor of Kingsway Building, Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Meanwhile, Cross River and Kogi states are yet to report a single case of the infection since Nigeria’s index case was announced in February.
The governors of the two states with zero cases have discouraged the residents from testing, a move opposed by the ministry of health and the NCDC.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Tuesday, announced that the ministry has successfully engaged the Cross River State governor and is planning another visit to Kogi State.
Nigeria so far
According to data from the NCDC, 7,526 cases have been confirmed in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A breakdown of the 7,526 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 3,357 cases, followed by Kano – 883, FCT – 468, Katsina – 308, Borno – 250, Jigawa – 241,Bauchi – 232, Oyo – 233, Ogun – 219, Kaduna – 184, Gombe – 145, Edo – 172, Sokoto – 116, Rivers – 89, Zamfara – 76, Kwara – 75, Plateau – 77, Yobe – 47, Osun – 42, Nasarawa – 38, Kebbi – 32, Delta – 31, Adamawa – 27, Niger – 26, Ondo – 23, Ebonyi – 22, Akwa Ibom – 21, Ekiti – 20, Taraba – 18, Enugu – 18 Bayelsa – 8, Imo – 7, Abia – 7, Anambra – 8, and Benue – 5.
So far, 2,174 persons have recovered and have been discharged while 221 have lost their lives to the infection.
Timeline last week
Last Sunday, 338 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Monday, 216 new cases of the virus were reported across the country. This brought the tally of confirmed cases to 6,175 as of 11:55 p.m. on May 18.
On Tuesday, 226 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
A total of 284 new cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday which brought the number of confirmed cases to 6,677.
On Thursday, 339 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country.
On Friday, 245 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 7,261 as of 11:55 pm on May 22.
On Saturday, 265 new cases of the virus were recorded.
Therefore, a total of 7,526 cases have been reported, out of which 2,174 have recovered and 221 have died.
Nigeria has so far tested 43,328 persons since the beginning of the pandemic. A PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis showed that the testing rate increased by 23.9 per cent last week compared to the previous week.
However, if the NCDC continues to test at this rate, its target of testing two million people in three months may not be realistic.
For the health agency to meet up its target, it has to conduct not less than 166,000 tests on a weekly basis.
The Director General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, at a national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 last week, promised that Nigeria will receive a consignment of reagents this week.
A reagent is a substance or mixture for use in chemical analysis.
The reagents will be distributed across the molecular laboratories in different parts of the country to increase the testing capacity, he said.
Despite the increasing coronavirus figures in Nigeria, some state governors have lifted the ban on public gathering, which they imposed at the outset of the pandemic to reduce the risk of transmission by physical contacts among people.
At the COVID-19 task force briefing on Thursday, NCDC boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu, reiterated that COVID-19 is transmitted by droplets or contact with infected persons.
The susceptibility of people in large gatherings to these modes of transmission is high, experts say. This is why federal authorities and the global health agency, WHO, have advised that social and religious gatherings be discouraged.
Due to the ‘Eid-ul-Fitri festival, many state governors have lifted the ban on social gatherings, with alarmed observers saying the development could draw back the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Bauchi, Taraba, Kastina and Borno state governors have relaxed the lockdown restriction for the people in their states.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have urged the governors to support the national response by adhering to stipulated guidelines.