For the first time in seven weeks, new weekly coronavirus infections reduced in Nigeria, a PREMIUM TIMES’ review of official data shows.
Prior to last week, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased for six consecutive weeks.
A total of 4,087 new cases were reported in the past week (June 28 to July 4), a four per cent decrease from the 4,269 cases recorded in the previous week (June 21 to June 27).
The new cases dropped despite an increase in the number of people tested across Nigeria last week.
Data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that 21,030 people were tested last week, a two per cent increase from the 20,588 tested the previous week.
Recoveries and deaths
The number of people who recovered from the virus and were discharged also increased last week.
A total of 2,837 patients recovered and were discharged last week, a 32 per cent increase from 1,907 who were discharged in the previous week.
Meanwhile, seventy-two new deaths were reported between last Sunday and Saturday, which amounts to a 27 per cent increase when compared with the 52 who died from the virus in the previous week.
Fire on the mountain?
Although Nigeria witnessed a reduction in infections last week, the resumption of domestic flights and interstate travels might pose a threat to its fight against the spread of the virus.
While interstate travels officially began last week, the Nigerian government has announced that domestic flights will resume on July 8.
Experts have, however, warned that the step might be disastrous if social distancing and other safety protocols are not adhered to.
The action by Nigeria and other African countries necessitated the World Health Organisation’s call on African nations to take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in COVID-19 infections on the continent.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, while giving an update on the status of the pandemic in Africa, said the call became necessary due to decisions of some of the African countries to reopen their borders months after lockdown aimed at curbing the pandemic.
She said while opening borders are vital for the free flow of goods and people, initial analysis by WHO found that lockdown along with public health measures reduced the spread of COVID-19.
Ms Moeti said “air travel is vital to the economic health of countries, but as we take to the skies again, we cannot let our guard down. Our new normal still requires stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.”
Nigeria so far
As of the time of reporting, 28,167 cases have been confirmed, 11,462 cases have been discharged and 634 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory,
A breakdown of the 28,167 confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 11,045 cases, followed by FCT – 2,153, Oyo – 1,466, Edo – 1,353, Kano – 1,264, Delta – 1,227, Rivers – 1,181, Ogun – 974, Kaduna – 855, Katsina 579, Borno – 528, Bauchi – 516, Gombe – 513, Ebonyi – 438, Plateau – 421, Ondo – 410, Abia – 383, Enugu – 372, Imo – 352, Jigawa – 318, Kwara – 269, Bayelsa – 234, Nasarawa – 225, Osun – 165, Sokoto – 153, Niger – 122, Akwa Ibom – 104, Benue – 97, Adamawa – 89, Kebbi – 84, Zamfara – 76, Anambra – 73, Yobe – 61, Ekiti – 43, Taraba – 19, and Kogi — 5.
Only one state, Cross River, is yet to officially report any case of the virus – although there are controversies surrounding the cases discovered at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
Of all the states with official cases, only Zamfara has not reported any new confirmed case in the past 47 days.
As regards testing, the country has so far collected 148,188 samples since the beginning of the outbreak in Nigeria in February.
Timeline last week
On Sunday, 490 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Monday, 566 new cases of the virus were reported in the country. That brought the tally of confirmed cases to 25,133 as of 11:55 p.m. on June 29.
On Tuesday, 561 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
A total of 790 new cases of the pandemic were reported on Wednesday which brought the number of confirmed cases to 26, 484.
The NCDC figures, as of 11:55 p.m. on July 1, also showed that 10,152 patients had been discharged while 603 had died.
On Thursday, 626 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Friday, 454 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 27,564 as of 11:55 p.m. on July 3
On Saturday 603 new cases of the pandemic were recorded.
A total of 28,164 cases have now been reported, out of which 11,462 have recovered and 634 have died.