For the first time in five months, Nigeria recorded less than a thousand new COVID-19 infections in a week, a PREMIUM TIMES’ review of official data shows.
Between Sunday and Saturday (September 13 to 19), the country reported 968 new cases, which is a 23 per cent reduction from the 1,272 recorded the previous week, the 38th week of the pandemic in Nigeria.
According to data sourced from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the last time Nigeria recorded a lower weekly figure was the 641 cases recorded between April 19 and May 25.
Last week’s record appears to be an indication that the country is gradually overcoming the pandemic, particularly with the fact that the reduction occurred despite the increase in the number of tests.
A total of 31,943 samples were collected for testing last week as against the 16,035 tested the previous week, a 50 per cent increase
Also, Nigeria has recorded less than 2,000 new cases in each of the past four weeks.
Nevertheless, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC have continued to encourage adherence to safety guidelines.
Many Nigerian states have reopened schools while local and international travels have also resumed at the airports. These can lead to a rise in cases if safety protocols are not complied with, officials said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has advised countries to not relent in putting necessary measures in place.
“As some countries start to open up we see cases and deaths starting to spike and concerns about potential lack of hospital capacity.
“This is a critical moment for countries and we ask leaders to put targeted measures in place that we know can suppress the spread and ensure that health systems and workers are protected,” the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said at a media briefing on Friday.
Less deaths, more recoveries
PREMIUM TIMES analysis further showed that the death rate waned last week, although it has been unstable for the past one month.
Last week, 17 persons died from COVID-19 complications, according to the data provided by the NCDC.
A total of 24 persons died from the virus previous week while 43 deaths were recorded in the preceding week.
Also, 4,343 people recovered and were discharged last week, a 372 per cent increase when compared to the previous week’s record of 1,166, Nigeria’s lowest in three months.
Nigeria so far
As of the time of reporting, Nigeria has 57,145 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 48,431 have been discharged and 1,095 deaths have been recorded in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Also a total of 472,191 samples have been collected for testing since the pandemic broke out in February.
A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 18,897 cases, followed by FCT – 5,550, Oyo — 3,231, Edo — 2,611, Rivers — 2,232, Kano — 1,734, Delta — 1,799, Kaduna — 2,345, Ogun — 1,762, Plateau — 3, 229, Ondo — 1,597, Enugu — 1,234, Ebonyi — 1038 , Kwara — 1,013, Katsina — 848, Borno — 741, Abia — 881, Gombe — 799, Osun — 813, Bauchi — 689, Imo — 559, Benue — 473, Nasarawa — 448, Bayelsa — 394, Jigawa — 322, Akwa Ibom — 288, Niger — 250, Adamawa — 230, Ekiti — 314, Sokoto — 161, Anambra — 232, Kebbi — 93, Zamfara — 78, Taraba — 95, Cross River— 85, Yobe — 75 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, only Kebbi, Zamfara, Taraba and Kogi did not record at least a fresh case last week.
Timeline last week
On Sunday, 79 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
As of 11:55 p.m. on September 14, a total of 56,256 cases had been reported, out of which 44,152 had recovered and 1,082 deaths recorded.
On Monday, 132 new cases of the pandemic were reported in the country.
On Tuesday, 90 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded.
On Wednesday, 126 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Thursday, 131 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 56, 735.
On Friday, 221 new cases of the pandemic were recorded.
On Saturday, 189 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 57,145 as of 11:55 p.m. on September 19.