President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Nigeria defied global predictions of the negative socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the country’s resilience in managing the pandemic.
Mr Buhari in his broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary said the commitment and passion exhibited in managing the pandemic contributed to the success recorded.
“As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment, and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic,” he said.
He also said the country’s health facilities have greatly improved especially during and after the the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was an improvement which he said attracted commendation of the global community.
Saturday’s broadcast is the last Mr Buhari will deliver as Nigeria’s president with the country expected to elect a new president in February.
There were several predictions that the COVID-19 pandemic will wreak havoc on the African continent as compared to other parts of the world.
In early 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that nearly a quarter of a billion Africans would have contracted the virus by the end of the year, with between 150,000 and 190,000 of them dying.
But as of November 3, the total infection on the continent stood at 1,784,083, less than one per cent of Africa’s one billion population. At this time, about 42,000 people had died.
Although Nigeria appears to have moved at a snail-pace in its initial response to the pandemic, it has not been badly hit as compared to European and American countries. This is despite having advanced medical facilities and health experts which are unavailable in the African region.
A study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases explained the reason for the lower prevalence of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa compared to that in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Findings of the study show that there is a higher prevalence of cross-reactive antibodies against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) in the blood samples collected from sub-Saharan African populations.
“The level of antibodies is probably because of African’s prior exposure to other human coronaviruses,” according to a report on news-medical.net.
An antibody is a protective protein produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, called an antigen. Antibodies recognise and latch onto antigens in order to remove them from the body.
About three years after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Nigeria, 265,382 cases have been recorded so far. Out of this, 3,155 people died while 3,846 are still receiving treatment, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
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