Over half of Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases recorded in June

Infograph showing Confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria as at 2nd July, 2020
Infograph showing Confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria as at 2nd July, 2020

A review of data provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that over 50 per cent of COVID-19 cases recorded so far in Nigeria were recorded in June.

About 15,116 confirmed cases were recorded in June which is equivalent to 58 per cent of total infections in the country.

As of the time of filing this report, Nigeria had recorded 25,694 cases of the virus.

In the previous three months (March, April and May) Nigeria confirmed 10,578 cases or 41.1 per cent of the total.

By June 30, more than four months since Nigeria’s first recorded COVID-19 case, the most populous country in Africa had confirmed 25,694 cases of the virus, a spread that pales, and remains insignificant when compared with other countries in Europe and America.

Rapid recoveries

In its review of the NCDC data, PREMIUM TIMES found that apart from the increase in the number of new infections last month, there was also a significant increase in recoveries.

A total of 6,624 patients recovered and were discharged last month, which represents a 67 per cent increase when compared to the 3,122 patients discharged in the last 3 months.

Health experts say the rising cases is evidence that the pandemic has reached alarming community level spread.

Restrictive steps of total lockdown, social distancing, interstate travel and other healthcare measures have proven to be very difficult to sustain in Nigeria, where many people live in compacted manners and would need to go out daily for means of livelihood.

With no end in sight – and for a fact, lack of basic facilities to respond to a widespread transmission, authorities are scrambling to control the community-level spread of the virus.

A closer examination of the provenance reveals, for instance, 17,380 confirmed cases of the virus were contracted through “unknown Exposure,” while 5,511 infections were through “contacts.”

Currently, there are 36 states, including FCT, that have recorded infections in Nigeria.

Only Cross-River is yet to ‘officially’ record a case of the new coronavirus in Nigeria.

Testing improves

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As of June 30, Nigeria had tested 138,462 persons. Of the total figure, 72,577 persons were tested in June alone, which represents 52 per cent of the total.

At this rate, Nigeria had tested, on average, fewer than 15 people per 1 million for COVID-19, South Africa with less than 30 per cent of Nigeria’s population, has done almost 9 times of that.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how NCDC boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu, admitted that the country had encountered challenges with testing at the onset of the pandemic, but has now scaled up its testing capacity.

“Our supply chain is better than it was at the beginning of the outbreak, and the lack of reagents or supplies has not affected testing in any part of the country in the last three months,” he said.

The NCDC had planned to test two million people in three months.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: 87 % of Nigerian businesses say pandemic “impacted them negatively” — Report

Yet, its plan has been undermined by, among other things, testing failures, state governments not collecting enough samples and individuals not coming forward to be tested.

Restrictions over?

Even as the crisis rages, the Nigerian government has lifted its interstate travel ban outside curfew hours.

The government has since lifted a ban on worship centres and asked citizens to ensure physical distancing and use of face masks in public.

Schools will gradually reopen to allow graduating students in primary, junior and senior secondary schools to write exams.

Similarly, On Wednesday, the minister of aviation in a tweet, announced the resumption of domestic flights operations with effect from July 8, 2020.

“I am glad to announce that Abuja & Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on the 8th of July, 2020. Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri & Maiduguri to resume on the 11th. Other airports on the 15th. Date for international to be announced in due course,” the tweet read.


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