Nigeria’s new COVID-19 infections increased last week, a PREMIUM TIMES review of official data shows.
Last week was the second consecutive weekly increase In new infections, suggesting a possible resurgence in COVID-19 cases after weeks of low numbers.
Last week (November 1-7), the 45th week of the pandemic in Nigeria, the country recorded 937 new cases, a two per cent increase from the previous week’s record of 923 cases which was a 32 per cent increase from the preceding week.
While the preceding week’s increase occurred despite a reduction in testing figures, last week’s occurred amidst a significant increase in the number of tests conducted.
Last week’s two per cent increase in new cases occurred amid over 100 per cent increase in the number of tests carried out.
A total of 56,089 samples were collected for testing last week as against the 21,899 tested the previous week.
A total 681,599 samples have been collected for testing since the pandemic broke out in Nigeria February.
Both Nigerians and the government seem to be lax about adhering to and enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols.
This weekly update is coming about two weeks after the #EndSARS protest, in which Nigerian youth demanded the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria police.
Thousands of youth trooped out across the country especially from its capital, Abuja, and the commercial nerve, Lagos, defying repeated calls by the country’s infectious disease outfit, NCDC, and health experts to avoid mass gathering.
Several COVID-19 protocols including the use of face masks and maintenance of social distancing were breached as there were mammoth crowds of protesters packed in tight spaces without face masks.
Similar situations occurred in Ondo and Edo states where governorship elections were held and large political gatherings held without social distancing and use of face masks.
In a recent interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the NCDC director-general, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the impact of the demonstrations might not be felt now as COVID-19 symptoms may not have started developing.
“It takes between two to 14 days for COVID-19 symptoms to develop in an infected person. In some others, they may not develop symptoms. So, we have to monitor this closely for the next two weeks”, he noted.
While it is now over a month after the elections and the political gatherings have clearly had no effects on COVID-19 numbers from Edo and Ondo, the effect of the protests can not yet be effectively determined.
Less recoveries, deaths
Further analysis showed that there was a slight reduction in the number of COVID-19 patients discharged and the number of deaths recorded last week.
A total of 1,209 persons recovered and were discharged last week, which represents a 13 per cent decrease when compared to the previous week’s record of 1,390.
Also, Nigeria recorded 10 deaths last week compared to the 15 that died of COVID-19 complications in the previous week.
Nigeria so far
As of the time of reporting, Nigeria has recorded 63,790 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this figure, 59,884 have been discharged and 1,154 deaths have been recorded in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 21,655 cases, followed by FCT – 6,212, Plateau — 3,676, Oyo — 3,515, Rivers — 2,866, Edo — 2,673, Kaduna — 2, 689, Ogun — 2,075, Delta — 1,816, Kano — 1,755, Ondo — 1,696, Enugu — 1,332, Kwara — 1,072, Ebonyi — 1,055, Osun — 932, Katsina — 953, Abia — 926, Gombe — 938, Borno — 745, Bauchi — 720, Imo — 622, Benue — 493, Nasarawa — 483, Bayelsa — 413, Ekiti — 338, Jigawa — 325, Akwa Ibom — 319, Anambra — 282, Niger — 281, Adamawa — 261, Sokoto — 165, Taraba — 152, Kebbi — 93, Zamfara — 79, Cross River— 87, Yobe — 82 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, Plateau, Oyo, Rivers and Edo states.
Only Kogi and Sokoto states have no active COVID-19 cases currently.
Timeline last week
On Sunday, 111 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
As of 11:55 p.m. on November 1, a total of 62,964 cases had been reported, out of which 58,790 had recovered and 1146 deaths recorded.
On Monday, 72 new cases of the pandemic were reported in the country.
On Tuesday, 137 new cases were reported.
On Wednesday, 155 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country.
On Thursday, 180 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 63, 508.
On Friday, 223 new cases of the pandemic were recorded.
On Saturday, 59 new cases were reported in Nigeria, hence bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 63,790 as of 11:55 p.m. on November 7.