The number of coronavirus cases in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is higher than the combined figure for all the other 34 states in which infections have been recorded in Nigeria, a PREMIUM TIMES review of officialdata shows.
A review of the data provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that Nigeria’s former and current federal capital have 8,785 confirmed cases, or 51 per cent of recorded cases in the country, while all the other states have a total of 8,363 cases or 48.7 per cent of the total.
Only Cross River is yet to record a case of the new coronavirus in Nigeria.
Lagos State remains the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria with 7,461 infections, equivalent to 43.5 per cent of the total cases. The FCT comes a distant second with 1,324 confirmed cases.
Trailing those two locations is Kano with 1,158 cases; Rivers,631 cases; Edo, 620 cases; Ogun, 574 cases; Kaduna, 472 cases; and Borno, 445 cases.
Sitting at the foot of the log are Kogi with 3 cases, Taraba with 18; and Ekiti with 30 cases.
The two states with the least number of cases, Kogi and Taraba, recorded no infection in the last two weeks. In fact, Kogi has gone 14 days without a new case, while Taraba has not had a case in 27 days.
The Kogi State government is still disputing its three coronavirus cases, claiming it has no case of the virus.
As of Wednesday evening, Nigeria has recorded 17,148 confirmed cases, 5,623 people have recovered and have been discharged, while 455 deaths have been recorded as of Tuesday.
The total number of cases is significantly low compared to other countries in Europe, America and Africa.
Despite the increase in figures, many health experts believe the country is not doing enough and the figures may not present the existing realities
Nigeria has so far tested 96,402 persons since the beginning of the outbreak in late February.
The NCDC said Wednesday it has activated four additional labs in the COVID-19 Molecular Laboratory Network.
The health agency in a tweet said two more laboratories in “Gombe and Ondo are in progress.”
“We are pleased to announce the inclusion of 4 new labs in the #COVID19 Molecular Lab Network: @weare54gene, Ekiti, @weare54gene, Abuja (to test returnees), @eHealth_Africa Lab, Kano, International Foundation Against Infectious Diseases in Nigeria (IFAN) Lab, Kano.”
“There are currently 38 laboratories in Nigeria with the capacity to test COVID-19.” the tweet read in part.
However, despite these laboratory centres, the NCDC’s target of testing two million people in three months appears increasingly unrealistic as it is yet to test a hundred thousand persons almost eight weeks after setting the target.
Other African Countries?
Depending on statistics from Worldometers, PREMIUM TIMES compared Nigeria’s testing capacity to other African countries.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria tested only above 96,000 persons and confirmed 17,148 cases. South Africa with 59 million people has tested more than one million persons and confirmed 76,334 infections in four months.
Morocco, the North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, with a 36 million population tested more than 400,000 persons and confirmed 8,997 cases.
With a population of over 100 million people, Egypt tested 135,000 persons and confirmed 47,856 cases.
Ghana has a population of 31 million people has tested 250,000 persons, with 12,590 infections.
Despite the increasing cases, Nigerian government lifted its lockdown in major cities and replaced it with an interstate travel ban as well as dusk to dawn curfew.
The government has also lifted a ban on worship centres and asked citizens to ensure social distancing and use of face masks in public.
The directives have, however, been largely observed in the breach as the country is expected to open its domestic airports by June 21.
Amidst the rising cases, Nigerian doctors commenced a nationwide strike on Monday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the National Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) embarked on an indefinite strike.
The union attributed its action to unpaid salaries, non-payment of hazard allowance and a dearth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals, among several other reasons