TIMELINE: Nigeria records 1,300 percent increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases in one week

THE pandemic Coronavirus is fast spreading in Nigeria more than expected—the spread is unprecedented — the country has recorded over 1,300 percent increase of confirmed cases of the disease in just one week.

The number of confirmed cases of  COVID-19 in Nigeria was just three as of March 17, but the figure has increased to 40 as 37 cases were confirmed last week.

A timeline of the COVID-19 in Nigeria shows that Nigeria recorded its first case of the pandemic on February 27 after a 44-year old Italian businessman tested positive for the virus.

He was later discharged on March 20 after receiving treatment at an isolation centre in Lagos and had tested negative to the virus. The second confirmed case was recorded on March 8. A contact of the Italian who tested positive in Ogun State, but has since been discharged after testing negative for the virus.

On March 17, the Federal Government announced the third case. The case was a Nigerian who returned to Lagos from the United Kingdom and developed symptoms during her 14-day self-isolation.

However, 24 hours after, the number of confirmed cases rose to eight after five new cases were reported on March 18. A day after, another four new cases were confirmed and brought the total to 12 confirmed cases in the country.

The first highest number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 was reported on Mach 21. The Federal Government announced 10 new cases. Seven in Lagos and three in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

A day after, the Federal Government announced  another eight new confirmed cases, with three in Lagos, two in the FCT, one in Ogun, Ekiti, and Oyo states, bringing the total to 30 confirmed cases as of March 22.

On Monday, March 23, the country recorded its second-highest of confirmed cases in a day. A total of 10 new cases and one death were recorded. Six in Lagos, three in the FCT, and one in Edo. As of 11:00 pm, March 23, there were 40 confirmed cases, two discharged and one death.

At the time of writing this report, two new cases were reported. One in Lagos and one in Ogun State. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 42, two recoveries and one death as at 01:00 pm, March 24. So far in March, Nigeria has recorded more than 40 cases.

To curtail further spread of the virus, the Federal Government through its Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has made several recommendations such as banning international flights from high-risk countries, shutting down all airports to international flights, and closure of all land borders.

    The Task Force also recommended through a directive to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation that all federal workers below grade level 12 should stay back and work from home.

    Several states of the federation have given several directives also to curtail the spread of the virus. Most state governments have shut down schools, banned gatherings of more than 50 persons. They also emphasised on the practice of  social distancing.

    On the regional level, As of March 17, the African continent had just recorded 228 confirmed cases with only four deaths.

    A week after, according to the daily situation report of the World Health report on COVID-19 of March 23, confirmed cases in African stand at 990 and 23 deaths representing an increase of more than 300 percent.

    Head of Data Unit, International Centre For Investigative Reporting, ICIR.
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