Nigeria has witnessed an increase of about 131 per cent in reported Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases within a period of eight days, a report by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has revealed.
According to the NCDC, as at Saturday, March 28, the Covid-19 confirmed cases in Nigeria was 97 with one death and three patients discharged after their test results showed negative.
However, on the 5th of April 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 224. The 127 new cases within that eight days represent 131 per cent increase in confirmed covid-19 cases in Nigeria. The NCDC however stated that, 27 patients have been discharged so far and five deaths recorded in Nigeria.
Giving a breakdown of state by state confirmed cases, the NCDC report revealed that Lagos state is leading with 115 cases, followed by the Federal Capital Territory with 45 cases, Osun state with 20 cases, Edo and Oyo state with nine cases each, Akwa-Ibom and Bauchi state with five cases each, Kaduna and Ogun state with four cases each, Enugu and Ekiti state with two cases each and Benue, Rivers and Ondo state with one case each.
According to stakeholders, the increase in confirmed cases of convid-19 in the country, was expected, hence the reason the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari ordered locked down of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state.
The minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said, “As contact tracing and testing capacity are being ramped up, more and more cases will be found and the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases is expected to rise initially.
“With the expanded national case definition and the addition of two laboratories to the NCDC network of COVID-19 molecular laboratories, the national testing capacity has increased.
“Moreover, the lockdown in high burden states presents the advantage of reduced population mobility and leaves more people at home to be found during contact tracing. All of this means that more people and samples can be collected and tested more quickly, giving a shorter turnaround time, but it also means that more cases will be discovered initially than before.”
In the same vein, the Incident Commander, Lagos state, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said since the Federal Government ordered a restriction of movement in Lagos State, as part of measures to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is abundantly clear that this was a step that had to be taken, a necessary sacrifice, to avoid far more disruptive outcomes.
Sanwo-Olu said the restrictions have also started paying off, as the NCDC has been able to take advantage of the absence of traffic on the roads to make appreciable progress in their contact tracing.
To the law-abiding residents of Lagos State, the governor of Lagos state applauded them and encouraged them to keep being responsible Lagosians.
“Continue to obey all the directives as issued by the health experts – practice social distancing, shun large gatherings, cover your mouths when coughing or sneezing, and self-isolate and contact a doctor if feeling unwell.
“And to those who insist on flouting our directives and guidelines, who seek to take undue advantage of their fellow Lagosians at this time, and all those whose aim is to undermine the efforts of the various health authorities responsible for keeping us safe, let this strong warning go out: The strong arms of the law will catch up with you sooner than later, and you will be brought to justice swiftly and comprehensively,” he added.
The director general, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the NCDC is using the little window of opportunity it has left to intensify investigations into identified cases and their sources.
“This is one of the purposes for which the lock-down of two states and the FCT was proclaimed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“These areas, especially Lagos as primary epicenter, as well as other parts of the Federation, need to speed up their activities to detect and isolate COVID-19 patients.
“During and following the lock-down, we expect to see an increase in cases as a measure of improvement in case finding,” he explained.
The NCDC DG however, expressed optimism that if social distancing and other measures were adhered to, infections would be controlled.