The number of coronavirus infections in Nigeria surpassed 120,000 on Saturday, nearly a year after an Italian traveller brought the virus into the country via the Lagos airport on February 27, 2020.
COVID-19, the potentially dangerous pneumonia-like disease caused by the coronavirus and said to have emanated from a local Wuhan market to spread to over 200 countries across the globe, has also claimed more than 1,500 lives in Nigeria.
This was announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on its microsite Saturday night.
The grim milestone was reached as Nigerian authorities continue to shuffle plans to receive the coronavirus vaccines. About 100,000 doses of vaccines are being expected by the end of the month, officials have said.
Since early December, there has been an upscale in reported cases and deaths with Nigeria officially declaring the second wave of the pandemic.
The daily infection and deaths seem to be concentrated more in Lagos, Abuja, Plateau and Kano states, although other states are also witnessing more cases.
Nigeria on Saturday recorded 1,633 new infections to take the total number of cases in the country to 120,602.
Five more people died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll in the country to 1,502.
As Nigeria continues to record more new coronavirus infections, the direct adverse impact has been more fatalities, a situation health officials blamed on late referral of patients.
Within the past one week, about 75 lives have been lost to COVID-19 complications in Nigeria.
In the past four weeks, there have been over 200 fatalities.
While the relatively high numbers of cases and deaths may be in part due to a marginal improvement in testing, health experts believe the relaxing of guard, weak enforcement of protocols especially in the country’s two major airports in Abuja and Lagos and massive gatherings during the Yuletide were responsible for the spike.
Active cases in Nigeria rose sharply from about 3,000 about two months ago to over 20,000 due to a rise in new infections.
Of the over 120,000 cases so far, 95,901 patients have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
The 1,633 new cases were reported from 21 states- Lagos (498), Plateau (214), FCT (176), Rivers (99), Kaduna (98), Edo (87), Anambra (86), Akwa Ibom (50), Osun (47), Kano (40), Oyo (40), Kwara (39), Ebonyi (28), Niger (28), Taraba (28), Ogun (27), Ondo (21), Ekiti (12), Katsina (7), Borno (6) and Delta (2),.
Lagos led with 498 new cases on Friday followed by Plateau with 214 new infections.
So far, Nigeria has conducted over 1.2 million COVID-19 tests.
Amidst the continuous increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria, a survey has found that nearly a fifth of Nigerians still do not believe the disease is real.
The study by the research firm, SBM Intel, in all 36 states and the FCT, found that only 68.8 per cent of Nigerians believe that the virus is real.
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