Exactly one year after an Italian traveller on February 27, 2020, became the index case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, more than 155,000 people have been infected with the virus in the country, data from the country’s infectious disease agency, NCDC, reveal.
COVID19, the pneumonia-like disease caused by the coronavirus and said to have emanated from a local Chinese market to spread to over 200 countries, has also caused over 1,900 deaths in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, more than two-third of the over 155,000 people infected by COVID-19 in Nigeria have recovered after treatment, indicating the level of success the country’s health professionals have recorded in containing the virus. The death toll is also less than two per cent of those infected.
But health experts believe the official data under-reports both infections and deaths because of the country’s limited testing capacity.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has so far conducted test figures less than one per cent of the country’s 200 million population.
As of Saturday morning, infection figures stood at 155,076 with 600 new cases reported from 21 states on Friday, according to NCDC data.
It took about nine months for Nigeria’s tally to reach 120,000 on January 24, 2021, from the 1,000 cases reached on April 25, 2020.
However, the figure reached 155,000 in about than a month to indicate how fast the disease is currently spreading.
Since the increase in infections officially declared the second wave of the pandemic last December, Nigeria had averaged over 1,000 cases daily.
Nearly half of Nigeria’s infections were recorded this year with about 70,000 infections reported since January 1, 2021.
But in the past one week, daily cases have fallen below 700 suggesting the worst phase of the viral infection may be coming to an end.
Fridays’ figure of 600 is slightly lower than the 634 cases recorded on Wednesday.
While infections appear to be slowing, the death toll from the disease has been relatively high with 11 fatalities on Friday raising the total fatalities in the past eight days to 99.
Nigeria’s fatality toll is now 1,902 in total.
On January 30, the country recorded its highest daily death tally of 27 deaths to topple the previous record of 23 deaths reported on January 15.
More than two-third of the over 155,000 people infected by COVID-19 in Nigeria have recovered after treatment.
According to NCDC data published Friday night, a total of 132,544 have recovered after treatment
Although people who recover from a viral infection often develop immunity against the same disease, it remains unclear whether this is the case with COVID-19 infection.
Meanwhile, about 21,000 infections are still active in the country.
The 600 new cases were reported from 21 states – Lagos (169), Taraba (92), Ogun (65), Cross River (57), FCT (38), Rivers (28), Kwara (26), Akwa Ibom (25), Osun (21), Plateau (12), Borno (9), Gombe (9), Abia (8), Ebonyi (8), Ekiti (7), Kano (7), Delta (6), Oyo (6), Bauchi (3), Nasarawa (3), and Sokoto (1).
Lagos had the highest toll in Friday’s tally with 169 new cases followed by Taraba and Ogun with 92 and 65 infections respectively.
Nigeria has conducted 1,489,103 tests so far.
Nigeria hopes to vaccinate more than half of its 200 million citizens in the next two years. But the country is yet to receive its first batch of vaccines with the first four million doses expected in March after the initial February target was extended.
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