New coronavirus infections increased in Nigeria for the fourth consecutive week, indicating the country is yet to reach the peak of its infection curve.
According to a PREMIUM TIMES review of data by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria also recorded 3,449 new COVID-19 cases last week, the highest weekly figure since the country recorded its first case in February.
Despite the consistent increase in new infections, however, the country continues to open up its economy and relax movement restrictions initially put in place.
The 3,449 cases recorded last week is a 32 per cent increase over the 2,348 cases recorded in the previous week.
Last week’s cases also account for about 21 per cent of the total confirmed coronavirus infections in Nigeria (15,682).
A total of 1,239 patients also recovered from the disease last week,
a 28 per cent increase compared to the 970 recoveries in the previous week.
However, 65 new deaths were recorded across the country last week as against the 69 reported in the previous week.
Lagos State recorded 1,306 new cases last week, almost a third of the total. The state remains the epicentre of the disease in Nigeria. Lagos was followed by Abuja, which recorded 300 new cases last week.
Of the 35 states and the FCT, where at least a case has been detected, only Taraba and Kogi states did not record new infections last week.
Nevertheless, only Cross River State is yet to record a single case of the infection.
Nigeria so far
Currently, there are 10,174 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, while 5,101 patients have recovered and have been discharged.
A breakdown of the total 15,682 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 7, 035 cases, followed by FCT – 1, 212, Kano – 1, 091, Ogun – 553, Edo – 544, Oyo – 491, Rivers – 482, Kaduna – 429, Borno – 425, Katsina – 414, Bauchi – 410, Gombe – 337, Jigawa – 317, Delta – 254, Ebonyi – 162, Abia – 151, Kwara – 150, Plateau – 149, Nasarawa – 141, Imo – 135, Sokoto – 132, Zamfara – 76, Anambra – 64, Ondo – 63, Yobe – 55,Kebbi – 54, Enugu – 51, Osun – 50, Niger – 49, Akwa Ibom – 48 Adamawa – 42,, Benue – 34, Bayelsa – 32, Ekiti – 30, Taraba – 18, and Kogi – 3.
Timeline last week
On Sunday, 260 new cases of COVID19 were reported in the country.
On Monday, 316 new cases of the virus were reported in the country. That brought the tally of confirmed cases to 12,801 as of 11:55 p.m. on June 8.
On Tuesday, 663 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
A total of 409 new cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday which brought the number of confirmed cases to 13,873.
The NCDC figures, as of 11:55 p.m. on June 10, showed that 4,351 patients had been discharged while 382 had died.
On Thursday, 681 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Friday, 627 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 15,181 as of 11:55 p.m. on June 12.
On Saturday, 501 new cases of the pandemic were recorded.
Therefore, 15,682 cases have been confirmed, 501 cases have been discharged and 407 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, so far.
Nigeria has so far tested 90,464 samples since February.
Of this figure, 15,465 tests were conducted last week. Although last week’s figure is higher than that of the previous week when 14,174 samples were tested, experts have raised concerns that the testing rate is grossly insufficient.
With the available data, the NCDC’s target of testing two million people in three months is impossible as the agency is yet to test a hundred thousand persons seven weeks after.
Despite its increasing rate of new infections, Nigeria began relaxing its five weeks lockdown over a couple of weeks ago.
Religious centres that were hitherto ordered shut have been reopened while many businesses have also been permitted to commence operations.
In his Democracy Day speech, on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari explained that the approval for the ease of lockdown “was to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods.”
“I receive regular briefing from the PTF on COVID nineteen. I note that the National Response relies on Science, Data and Experience in taking decisions. This informed my approval for the ease of lockdown phase to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods,” the president said.
He reposed his confidence in the PTF, stating that the steps being taken by the committee would result in flattening the COVID-19 curve.
Mr Buhari also implored all Nigerians to abide by the approved guidelines and protocols so as to curtail the spread of the virus.
The Nigerian leader also asked the country’s researchers to join in the search for the cure for the virus which has killed over 400,000 people globally.
“Already, we have begun to look inward and I charge our inventors, researchers and scientists to come up with solutions to cure COVID-19,” he said.