The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded in Nigeria rose by over 100 per cent last week over the figure from the previous seven weeks, PREMIUM TIMES findings show.
According to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the country has now recorded 1182 cases as of Saturday midnight. Out of these, 222 infected people have recovered and have been discharged while the death toll rose to 35.
A breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that Lagos State has so far reported 689, followed by FCT – 138, Kano – 77, Ogun – 35, Osun – 32, Gombe – 30, Katsina – 30, Borno – 30, Edo – 22, Oyo – 18, Kwara – 11, Akwa Ibom – 11,Bauchi – 11, Kaduna – 10, Ekiti – 8, Ondo – 4, Delta – 6, Rivers – 3, Jigawa – 2, Enugu – 2, Niger – 2, Abia – 2, Zamfara – 2, Sokoto – 2, while Benue, Anambra, Adamawa, Plateau, and Imo have one case each.
PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis showed that Nigeria recorded 641 new cases last week. When compared with the total of 541 recorded in the previous seven weeks (February 28 to April 12), it represents a 118.5 per cent increase.
Recall that the country recorded its first case of the virus in an Italian man who visited Lagos on February 28.
As of last week, the pandemic had spread to nine new states in addition to the previous 19 states and the FCT.
While Lagos remains the epicentre, there appears to be a major surge in Kano, amidst reports of increased deaths of people not tested for COVID-19.
According to the Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Kano State response team, Sabitu Shuaibu, 640 mysterious deaths were recorded in the state within a week.
For days, the state had been missing on the chart because of the pause on the conduct of tests. Experts have, however, predicted a sharp rise in the figures from Kano if the pandemic is not properly managed.
Before this week’s 641 cases, the highest weekly figure was 223, from April 12 to April 19.
Moreover, the average daily figure of confirmed cases rose last week. The average for last week was 96, compared to 32 for the previous week.
Meanwhile, the number of those who recovered dropped drastically, consequently affecting the recovery rate.
While 96 were discharged the previous week, only 56 patients were discharged last week. That represents a drop from 43.0 per cent to 8.7 per cent recovery rate.
According to data from NCDC, no one was discharged on Wednesday and Thursday.
However, among the 56 who recovered last week were Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai; fiancee of the popular singer Davido, Chioma Rowland; and Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye.
This piece reviews how the cases doubled and the recovery rate dropped last week.
On Sunday, eighty-six new cases of #COVID19 were reported; 70 in Lagos, 7 in FCT, 3 in Katsina, 3 in Akwa Ibom, 1 in Jigawa, 1 in Bauchi and 1 in Borno.
Therefore, as of 11:50 p.m. that day on April 19, there were 627 confirmed cases reported in Nigeria while 170 had been discharged and 21 persons died.
On Monday, thirty-eight new cases were reported; 23 in Kano, 5 in Gombe, 3 in Kaduna, 2 in Borno, 2 in Abia, 1 in FCT, 1 in Sokoto and 1 in Ekiti.
As of 11:10 p.m., April 20, there were 665 confirmed cases reported in Nigeria. A total of 188 had been discharged and 22 persons had died.
On Tuesday, 117 new cases were reported; 59 in Lagos, 29 in FCT, 14 in Kano, 6 in Borno, 4 in Katsina, 3 in Ogun, 1 in Rivers and 1 in Bauchi.
As of 11:25 pm, April 21, there were 782 confirmed cases,197 discharged and 25 deaths.
On the same day, NCDC said five cases previously reported in Lagos State had been transferred to Ogun State. Therefore, Lagos had reported 430 confirmed cases while Ogun had reported 20.
On Wednesday, 91 new cases were reported; 74 in Lagos, 5 in Katsina, 4 in Ogun, 2 in Delta, 2 in Edo, 1 in Kwara, 1 in Oyo, 1 in FCT and 1 in Adamawa.
As of 11:25 p.m., April 22, there were 873 confirmed cases reported in Nigeria. A total of 197 had been discharged while 28 persons had died.
On Thursday, 108 new cases were reported; 78 in Lagos, 14 in FCT, 5 in Ogun, 4 in Gombe, 3 Borno, 2 in Akwa Ibom, 1 in Kwara and 1 in Plateau.
As of 11:30 p.m., April 23, there were 981 confirmed cases,197 discharged and 31 deaths.
On Friday, 114 new cases were reported; 80 in Lagos, 21 in Gombe, 5 in FCT, 2 in Zamfara, 2 in Edo, 1 in Ogun, 1 in Oyo, 1 in Kaduna and 1 in Sokoto
As at 11:30 p.m., April 24, there were 1095 confirmed cases reported in Nigeria. A total of 208 persons had been discharged while 32 had been killed by the disease.
On Saturday evening, 87 new cases were reported; 33 in Lagos, 18 in Borno, 12 in Osun, 9 in Katsina, 4 in Kano, 4 in Ekiti, 3 in Edo, 3 in Bauchi and 1 in Imo.
Therefore, as of 11:55 p.m., April 25, there were 1182 confirmed cases reported in Nigeria. A total of 222 had been discharged while 35 had died.
Clamour for relaxation of lockdown
Amidst the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Nigerians are clamouring for the relaxation of the lockdown in Lagos, FCT, Ogun and some other states.
Families complained about hunger as businesses were crippled in the last one month. More so, some firms have sent staff on leave without pay or reviewed their salaries downward.
Some Nigerians, therefore, took to social media on Saturday, protesting the absence of palliatives to cushion the effects of the lockdown on their various households.
The #PotPan protest, kick-started by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE), saw people hitting their empty pots and pans to stress their hunger and hardship.
Nigerian state governors have also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to relax the lockdown. The call is coming as the nation expects further action from Mr Buhari as the last two-week extension to the lockdown ordered by the president expires on Monday.
They advised the president to impose interstate restriction but allow intra-state movements. They also recommended continued restriction on large gatherings and compulsory use of face masks in public places.
Group demands investigation of human rights violations
A rights group, ActionAid Nigeria, has also demanded investigation into growing cases of human rights violation during the lockdown.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how security operatives in Lagos, Ogun, FCT and some other states harass, extort and brutalise citizens while enforcing the stay-at-home directive.
However, the group, which is an affiliate of the ActionAid International Federation, said it has followed closely the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria since February and the responses of the federal government to curtail the spread of the virus and protect Nigerians.
“Regrettably, the enforcement measure has been taken by some unpatriotic staff and officers within the Nigeria security agencies to perpetuate severe human rights abuses on some Nigerians.
“These abuses include physical assault, torture, illegal seizure, extortions and incidences of sexual and gender-based violence. Furthermore, there have been cases of outright destruction of property by security agents, thus inflicting hardship and pains on the vulnerable citizens, especially women and youths,” the statement issued by Lola Ayanda, the group’s Communications Coordinator, read.
ActionAid noted that some of the abuses resulted in deaths.
Brutalities by security operatives in places like Abia, Anambra, Delta, Kaduna, Niger, Ebonyi and Katsina states led to an estimated 18 deaths, the group said.
“These unacceptable incidents are attributed to the undesired work of overzealous security agents in enforcing the lockdown.”
The group said the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic requires a wider and multi-dimensional perspective and needs to ensure that women, children and the most vulnerable in the society are protected during the lockdown.
It demanded adequate provision of food, water and other palliatives during the lockdown and that the provisions reach the most vulnerable people in different localities and the informal sector, especially women, youths and people with disabilities.
It urged government to “in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, set up a committee to investigate the numerous human rights violations being reported across the country, and bring the culprits to book; and
“Put an effective monitoring and tracking team in place to oversee the activities of the security personnel during the period of lockdown, with the objective to enforce strict compliance and accountability of their mandates.”