This post is a follow up on our earlier article titled Is Nigeria ready for the Coronavirus? + Facts about the novel virus.
The present article is borne out of the conviction that it is imperative to document Coronavirus statistics, trends and responses with regard to Nigeria. Every day, new information about Coronavirus infection as well as the government’s response to it appears online. But these are fragmented, so we decided to bring the information in one place so that anyone who wants to know about the Coronavirus infection in Nigeria can find all the data with a single click.
We will continue to update the data as the government’s response continues, so do check here again and again for up-to-date information on Coronavirus in Nigeria.
Background to Coronavirus global pandemic
When the coronavirus initially broke out in Wuhan, China, many of those affected were treated for pneumonia. The cause of this ‘pneumonia‘ had baffled health experts. According to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the cases rose to 44 persons between 31st December 2019 to 3rd January 2020.
On 7th January 2020. the Chinese authorities announced that the cases were being caused by a new type of Coronavirus.
On Tuesday 10 February 2020, the WHO named the novel Coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or (SARS-CoV-2), while the disease it causes was named Covid-19.
“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” says Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”
"Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the @OIEAnimalHealth & @FAO, we had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease"-@DrTedros #COVID19
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020
The novel Coronavirus quickly engulfed mainland China. However, China being a world economic power, it did not take long for the virus to cross borders. Currently, the virus has been confirmed in 198 countries worldwide.
[bctt tweet=”Did you know that the official name for the novel Coronavirus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), while the disease it causes is called Covid-19? #CoronavirusFacts #CoronavirusUpdate #CoronavirusNigeria” username=”Sidomex”]
By 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic.
We have reported some of the early development and spread of the disease in this article titled Is Nigeria ready for the Coronavirus? + Facts about the novel virus. Check it out for a more detail insight into the initial spread of the disease across the world.
To date (Friday morning, WAT 27 March 2020), China has recorded 81,340 confirmed Coronavirus case. Of these numbers, 3,292 patients lost their lives, 74,588 patients recovered and 3,460 cases remain active, according to the Wordommeter.
While China has largely contained the virus, it is currently ravaging much of western Europe with Italy being the worst hit with 86,498 confirmed cases, 9,134 deaths, 10,950 recovered cases and 66,414 active cases.
Just yesterday, 26 March 2020, the US was reported as the new epicentre of the disease after the confirmed cases surpassed that of China.
This afternoon, the US has reported 94,381 total cases, 1,429 deaths,2,447 recovered and 90,505 active cases, also according to Wordometer.
[bctt tweet=”The US is officially the new epicentre of Coronavirus with confirmed cases surpassing that of China and Italy #CoranavirusFacts #CoronavirusUpdate” username=”Sidomex”]
Overview of Coronavirus in Nigeria
The novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 has also been recorded in Nigeria. The index case was recorded in an Italian citizen who came into the country on 25th February 2020 from Italy via a Turkish airline. The unnamed Italian citizen was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020. He presented mild symptoms.
Shortly after the confirmation, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the chief executive officer/national coordinator of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) told CNN that Nigeria is capable of handling a Coronavirus outbreak basing his statement on the prompt and efficient manner the country was able to contain the Ebola outbreak of 2014.
His words: “Nigeria is ready. We successfully managed Ebola and we manage outbreaks all the time and are currently managing Lassa fever. We have a strong team that is used to doing this.”
As of Saturday 10:40 pm WAT, 28 March 2020, just about one month after the first diagnosis of Covid-19, the NCDC has confirmed 97 cases of the Coronavirus in Nigeria.
The list of states with confirmed infected persons are:
- Lagos- 59
- FCT- 16
- Oyo- 7
- Ogun- 3
- Edo- 2
- Enugu -2
- Bauchi – 2
- Benue – 1
- Ekiti- 1
Of these cases, one death has been recovered, three discharged and 77 cases are presumably active, although the Lagos Stae commissioner of health, Dr Akin Abayomi stated yesterday evening, 26 march 2020 that six people have recovered from Covid-19 and will be released today (Friday 27 March 2020). However, that has not happened as only one was discharged, which brought the total number of discharged cases are to three by Friday.
Furthermore, the one mortality so far recorded was the death of Suleiman Achimugu, a former MD of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).
This means that there are 93 known active cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria as of Saturday night, 28 March 2020.
In the next section, we will now examine responses from the government since the index case was observed on 27 February 2020.
Coronavirus trends and statistics in Nigeria
The table below presents the Coronavirus trends and statistics in Nigeria as announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
[table id=CovidTrendNg /]
Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN ) response to COVID-19 outbreak
The following sections summarise the FGN response to Coronavirus aim at containing and preventing the spread of the disease in the country.
1. Task Force on Coronavirus
On 9th March 2020, the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, established a Presidential Task Force for the control of the virus in the country.
2. Closure of universities and schools
In the wake of the outbreak, the FGN took a proactive decision to shut down all federal educational institutions. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sunny Echono, confirmed to reporters on 19th March 2020 that tertiary, secondary and primary schools were to be closed by 26 March 2020.
See this article: Breaking! Nigeria records first death of Coronavirus case
3. Suspension of Flights
Initially, Nigeria placed a travel ban on 13 countries with high cases of the virus, the countries were United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, China, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Japan and Iran.
However, after facing criticism over its open borders, the government ordered the cancellation of all international flights on 21st March 2020. The director-general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu disclosed this in a letter to all airlines in the country. However, it left domestic flights untouched.
4. Work from home
All staff on Grade Level 12 and below have been ordered to work from home from Tuesday 24 March 2020 until further notice, according to a statement by Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
“All other categories of officers, who will be at work, are strongly advised to follow the measures being put in place by the government to curtail the spread of the pandemic.“
5. Aids from the Chinese business tycoon and Nigeria businessmen
- On 25th March 2020, the Nigerian Airforce air-lifted medical kits that Chinese business tycoon, Jack Ma, had sent from Lagos to Abuja. Abuja, which is the country’s capital is the second worst-hit place in Nigeria after Lagos. It has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Billionaire Femi Otedola, tola also announced that he will be donating NGN1 billion to help fight the disease in Nigeria.
- Billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, through his company, BUA Group, also donated NGN1 billion to fight Coronavirus in Nigeria. The billionaire has already redeemed the pledge and the money has been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He also donated an addition NGN 300 million to Sokoto, Ogun and Edo states.
[bctt tweet=”Billionaires who have donated to fight Coronavirus in Nigeria: Jack Ma, @JackMa – Medical equipment; Femi Otedola @realFemiOtedola – NGN1 b; @BUAgroup chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu – NGN1 b #CoronavirusUpdate #CoronavirusNigeria #CoronavirusFacts” username=”Sidomex”]
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on COVID-19
If you are not a health worker, it is likely that you have only known of NCDC in passing. Not anymore, especially for social media active users. The centre is at the forefront of coordinating Nigeria’s response to the global pandemic and has been active in updating Nigerian on the government’s response to Coronavirus.
They are the major arm of the health sector in charge of treating and controlling the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria. Even before the Italian citizen index case, via Lagos, they had swung into prompt action educating the public on what to do in cases of suspected infection as well as how to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
The NCDC has ensured that all its social media platforms dispense regular updates about the cases. It gives a breakdown of how many people are infected, those that are cured as well as the number of deaths.
In addition to this, it regularly sensitises people on what precautions to take to avoid further spread of COVID-19.
Also, through its media outlets, it announces important news and we will look at some of them below. t has also published a guideline for companies and business to follow and what to do n case of suspected Coronavirus case at the workplace.
NCDC has published: GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES & EMPLOYERS IN NIGERIA
Read for advice on:
*Reducing the risk of #COVID19 on the premises
*What to do if there is a suspected case at the workplace
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 27, 2020
NCDC advise to travellers to Nigeria
Travellers without symptoms on departure but become unwell in transit are advised to self-report to the Port Health Services on arrival
Travellers from countries with the ongoing local transmission but who show no symptoms on arrival should self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival
If travellers from countries with ongoing local transmission feel ill with fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of arrival in Nigeria, please:
- Observe self-isolation immediately by staying indoors and avoiding contact with people
- Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line IMMEDIATELY on 080097000010
- Avoid self-medication
The NCDC also launched a WhatsApp line for easy contact.
Our @WhatsApp line is back up!
This new service allows for 2-way conversations on WhatsApp. We‘ll send real-time messages to all Nigerians who opt in to the service, & Nigerians can also engage directly with us
Add NCDC: https://t.co/hozu9wVBD3
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 26, 2020
How states are handling Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria
1. Lagos State government response
Lagos state government has had a lot to do since most of the confirmed cases have been within its vicinity. As of today, Friday 27th March 2020, 44 cases have been confirmed in Lagos State.
The Italian, Nigeria’s index case, had come to Lagos on 25th February 2020 and was reported to be ill on 26th February. His doctors recommended he got tested based on his travel history. He was subsequently transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
The case was confirmed at the Virology Laboratory of Lagos University Teaching Hospital on the 27th of February 2020. This laboratory is part of the network of laboratories supported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. After he tested positive, he was isolated and started receiving treatment.
The Lagos State government in conjunction with the NCDC quickly swung into action. The two companies he visited, Lafarge cement factory in Ogun State and Agip Saipem office in Banana Island, were quickly shut down and the staff he came into contact with were quarantined. The government also sent out notices to those who were in the Turkish flight to report for monitoring and to self-isolate immediately.
The index case has since recovered, along with another person he was in contact with. The staff of the companies have since been released after they all tested negative for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the state government on 9 March 2020 released two names that were missing from the list of those on the Turkish flight. They appealed for help in locating them. There has been no further information, to the best of our knowledge, if those people were later found.
On Friday 20 March 2020, the Lagos state government announced it was banning gatherings of more than 50 persons effective from Sunday 22 March 2020. This ban was later reduced to 20 people the next day 21 March 2020 when the country recorded 22 confirmed cases, most of them in Lagos.
By Monday, the Lagos state had directed its workforce to start working remotely from their homes except those on essential duties.
Before then, the government had already ordered the closure of all its schools and higher institutions of learning.
On Tuesday 24th March 2020, the government also issued a warning that all attendees of the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) should self-isolate themselves. This came after one person who had attended the show on 14th March 2020 tested positive for COVID-19.
The announcement came via a tweet from the Lagos State Ministry of Health official handle. It says:
#COVID19 Lagos Alert?!
I hereby notify you that all participants at the African Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) held on14th March at @EkoHotels may have come in contact with one of the confirmed cases in Lagos and
are most likely to have been exposed to #COVID19 Infection. pic.twitter.com/kL2hswERf8
— LSMOH (@LSMOH) March 24, 2020
Also, effective on 26th March 2020, the government directed that all markets should be shut. The directive came on Tuesday 24 March 2020 after the number of infections hit 44 in Nigeria, 29 of which were recorded in Lagos State.
The mandates also cover all social and religious gatherings. However, the governor insists that the State is not on lockdown and excludes drug, food and other essential sellers from the directive.
You may also like: Coronavirus: Breaking! Six patients recover in Lagos, set for discharge
The official Lagos State government Twitter handle discloses:
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) March 25, 2020
The authorities seized the curtailed movement to disinfect many bus-stops and public gathering venues across the state.
2. Abia State
- Abia State government has ordered the closure of major markets in the state starting from 28th March 2020.
- It has earlier banned burial, wedding and religious events of more than 30 guests.
3. Anambra State response
- On 6th March, the Anambra State government announced that five Chinese citizens tested negative for the virus.
- On 19th March, it announced the closure of the state schools and suspension of public gatherings indefinitely. It added that tertiary institutions will close from 20th March, while primary and secondary schools were to close from 27th March 2020.
4. Delta State response
- The government announced the closure of all their schools from 26th March 2020.
5. Enugu State response
- On 15th March, a woman in Enugu State displayed the symptoms of Coronavirus, she tested negative the following day.
- It also ordered the closure of all primary and secondary schools in the state from 27th March.
6. Edo State response
- On 17th March, Nigeria postponed the 20th National Sports Festival that was would have held in Benin City, Edo State from 22nd March to 1st April 2020.
7. Ekiti State response
- Ekiti State government banned social, political, religious and family gatherings of more than 20 persons.
- The state also ordered the closure of all their schools from 23rd March.
- It has also banned market activities unless it concerns essentials.
8. Kastina State response
- In Katsina State, a Nigerian citizen that returned from Malaysia displayed the symptoms of the virus on 18th March, he tested negative the following day.
9. Kano State response
- On 18th March the state government confirmed that three persons tested negative for the virus in the state.
10. Kwara State response
- The government announced the indefinite closure of its public and private schools on 18th March 2020.
- It also banned all public commercial activities from 26th March except those selling essential commodities like food items and medicine.
11. Ogun State response
- The government banned all gatherings of more than 50 people for 30 days starting from 18th March 2020.
12. Osun State response
- The government banned any public gatherings of more than 50 persons in the state with immediate effect, including schools, churches and mosques on 23rd March.
13. Plateau State response
- On 1st March, four Chinese citizens were quarantined in Plateau State, they all tested negative the following day.
14. Rivers State response
- The state government announced an indefinite closure of their sea, air and land borders into and out of the state with effect from 26th March 2020.
15. Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states responses
- The various authorities in the individual states also closed down their schools for 30 days from 23rd March.
- Kano State also announced an indefinite closure of its air and land borders into and out of the state with effect from 27th March 2020.
- Yobe State and many other states have since banned public gatherings of more than 20 persons.
Chief of Staff Abba Kyari tests positive for COVID-19
While there have been high profile cases of the coronavirus across the world, Nigeria’s first case came on Tuesday 24th March 2020. The President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19.
The confirmation came after rumours spread that he had returned to the country after visiting Germany and Egypt seriously ill. After Kyari was confirmed positive, further tests were allegedly conducted at Aso Villa. Aso Villa is the workplace and official residence of the president of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari and his family.
Three more positive cases were confirmed after the test. The new cases were speculated to be people working close to Kyari.
President Buhari tests negative for COVID-19 as speculations grow
After his Chief of Staff was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus, it was only right for President Muhammadu Buhari to get tested. The test was conducted on Monday by specialists from the NCDC in Abuja and was reported to be negative.
On Tuesday 24th March 2020, Femi Adesina, who is the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, disclosed this to the press. However, there have been unverified rumours and speculations surrounding this issue.
For example, social commenters pointed to the fact that Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and his wife have gone into isolation. They propose that all may not be well. However, Lauretta Onochie, the aide to the president on social media matters countered the speculation, tweeting:
1. We insist that President @MBuhari tested Negative to the Corona Virus.
He’s not on life support.
The war on corruption continues
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) March 25, 2020
Also, the stories were further aided when controversial journalist Kemi Olunloyo tweeted that the president was not doing well despite testing negative. She tweets:
#BREAKING UPDATE is that Prez @MBuhari is very sick with persistent coughing. A ventilator has been brought in from a hospital to set up a makeshift ICU to treat our Commander-in-Chief. He had contact with his Chief of staff Mr Kyari who tested positive for CORONAVIRUS #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/MgUnDMdruR
— #DrKemiOlunloyo Pharm.D???? (@KemiOlunloyo) March 24, 2020
Other notable reactions in Nigeria to COVID-19
1. Suspension of NYSC batch A
On 18th March, the management of the National Youth Service Corps indefinitely suspended the 2020 Batch A Stream One 21 days orientation exercise. The orientation exercise commenced on 10 March and would have ended on 30 March 2020.
2. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
JAMB suspended all their activities for two weeks from 24th March 2020.
3. National Examination Council (NEC)
NEC announced an indefinite postponement of the 2020 common entrance examination into 104 unity schools in Nigeria The exam would have held on Saturday, 28th March 2020.
4 West African Examinations Council (WAEC)
WAEC has postponed its school certificate examination (WASSCE) for this year, including in Nigeria, until further notice due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
No new date for the examination has been set. It assures all that it will be communicated to schools and other stakeholders when they fix one.
5. The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)
AGN have banned movie sets across Nigeria since 25th March 2020.
6. Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
The Nigeria Football Federation suspended all football activities for four weeks.
Most public offices have also based workers to work from home. Many private organisations have also closed offices with staff working from home.
As the world continues to battle Coronavirus, everyone is advised to their bit to stop the spread of the virus. Health authorities around the world have published simple guidelines including:
1. Regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
2. Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or the elbow. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash hands
3. Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
4. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
5. Self-isolate immediately if you notice symptom and contact health officials immediately.
6. Coming from a risk area, self-isolate for 14 days while looking out for symptoms of the disease
For completeness, Coronavirus symptoms include:
1. Respiratory symptoms
4. Shortness of breath and
5. Breathing difficulties
6. In more severe cases, the infection can cause:
ii. Severe acute respiratory syndrome,
iii. Kidney failure
iv. Eventually death