Last week’s record of 1,822 new COVID-19 cases is Nigeria’s lowest in three months, a PREMIUM TIMES review of official data shows.
The last time Nigeria recorded a lower weekly figure was the 1,470 cases recorded in the week between May 10 and May 16, according to data sourced from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Last week’s record of 1,822 new cases was a 41 per cent reduction when compared to the previous week’s record of 3,135 infections.
Not only was last week’s record of 1,822 cases the lowest in three months, but the 160 new cases recorded on Friday was also the lowest daily figure since May 6.
Also, last week’s new cases reduced compared to the previous week despite a 3 per cent increase in the number of tests conducted. A total of 24,227 samples were collected last week compared to the 23,488 in the previous week.
The data from recent weeks also suggest that Nigeria has overcome its worst phase of the virus.
For instance, weekly infections have not exceeded 4,000 in the past five weeks. In fact, the highest in the past five weeks was 3,870, which was recorded in the 30th week of the pandemic in Nigeria (July 19 – July 25).
These reductions probably informed the announcement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health that the state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, has overcome its worst phase of the pandemic.
“Our observation is that Lagos has passed the worst of the pandemic, it has passed the peak of the pandemic and is now on the flattening stage, and over time will experience a downslope of the virus, then the end of COVID-19,” Akin Abayomi, who has also tested positive for the virus, said.
Notwithstanding, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC have continued to preach strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols including social distancing and use of face masks, warning that the crisis might escalate with the resumption of students, more civil servants and reopening of airports.
More recovery, less deaths
PREMIUM TIMES analysis further showed that while more people recovered from the disease last week, fewer deaths were recorded.
A total of 2,547 persons recovered from the disease and were discharged last week, which represents a 2 per cent increase when compared to the 2,477 persons discharged in the previous week.
The data also showed that a total of 14 persons died from the virus last week, which is the lowest weekly death recorded in the past four months.
The last time Nigeria recorded fewer weekly deaths was the nine deaths recorded between April 12 and 18.
The reduction in deaths signals an improvement in the recent management of COVID-19 cases despite the unavailability of a cure. It also arguably reflects the potency of remdesivir, an antiretroviral drug recommended for mild cases of COVID-19 which Nigeria recently began using for positive patients.
Nigeria so far
As of the time of reporting, Nigeria has 53,727 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 41,314 have been discharged and 1,011 deaths have been recorded in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 18,104 cases, followed by FCT – 5,149, Oyo — 3,107 , Edo — 2,577, Rivers — 2,134, Kano — 1,725, Delta — 1,744, Kaduna — 2,114, Ogun — 1,646, Plateau — 2,443, Ondo — 1,534, Enugu — 1,155, Ebonyi — 973 , Kwara — 958, Katsina — 789, Borno — 740, Abia — 763, Gombe — 723, Osun — 779, Bauchi — 666, Imo — 527, Benue — 451, Nasarawa — 434, Bayelsa — 391, Jigawa — 322, Akwa Ibom — 278, Niger — 241, Adamawa — 221, Ekiti — 262, Sokoto — 158, Anambra — 207, Kebbi — 93, Zamfara — 78, Taraba — 87, Cross River— 82, Yobe — 67 and Kogi — 5.
Lagos State remains the epicentre for the disease with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the country.
The other five states with the highest number of confirmed cases are FCT, Oyo, Edo, Plateau and Rivers states.
Of all the 36 states and the FCT, Jigawa, Zamfara, Yobe and Kogi did not record at least a fresh case last week.
Timeline last week
On Sunday, 322 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
As of 11:55 p.m. on August 23, a total of 52, 227 cases had been reported, out of which 38, 945 had recovered and 1002 deaths recorded.
On Monday, 321 new cases of the pandemic were reported in the country.
On Tuesday, 252 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
On Wednesday, 221 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Thursday, 296 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 53, 317.
On Friday, 160 new cases of the pandemic were recorded.
On Saturday, 250 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 53,727 as of 11:55 p.m. on August 29.