For the first time since February, 2020, when the index case of coronavirus was recorded in an Italian traveller in the country’s commercial hub city, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday reported no single case of the pandemic.
However, Nigeria’s ban on the microblogging site, Twitter, is taking its toll on the reportage of the updates on the disease, as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which is responsible for the update, has consistently delayed the process since the government suspended the operation of the site in the country.
The latest update by the NCDC was only posted on its website on Monday afternoon, more than 12 hours after its usual time when its Twitter handle was active.
The new development of recording no single case across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory has been described as a huge success for the country by health experts.
They said it is a milestone in Nigeria’s battle against the deadly disease.
The number of new cases dropped from 51 on Saturday to zero on Sunday, NCDC said in an update on its site on Monday afternoon.
Nigeria has seen a sharp drop in infections and deaths since March, adding to signs that it has managed to stamp out the latest wave of the disease.
No new death from COVID-19 has also been reported in more than two weeks.
But health experts have cautioned against letting the guards down on safety, warning that poor testing in many states could be masking the reality about the pandemic in some states.
While states are solely in charge of its coronavirus management and response, the NCDC supports and receives daily infection information from them.
The daily infection update is then published by the NCDC on its Twitter handle before being posted to its website. The NCDC update serves as the yardstick in which Nigeria’s COVID-19 outbreak is being measured.
But since the ban on the microblogging site by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the daily COVID-19 update from the NCDC has suffered delays.
Sunday’s update for instance was posted on the microsite on Monday afternoon.
Contacted to find why there had been delays in updating the data, the NCDC director, Chikwe Ihekweazi, neither picked calls to his telephone lines nor responded to texts as of the time of filing this report.
According to the NCDC update, the total confirmed cases in the country remains 167,206 as no new case was recorded on Sunday.
The total death toll in the country remains 2,117 with no new fatalities in the past 24 hours.
Nigeria has tested a total of 2,266, 591 samples, with a total of 163,557 people said to have recovered after treatment.
The data shows that the country’s active COVID-19 now stands at 1,532.
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