Daily figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that more people recovered from their Coronavirus illness than new infections in the country last week.

Last week, many Nigerians breathed a sigh of relief when tentative dates were announced for reopening of schools in Lagos State, Nigeria’s epicentere of Coronavirus. While announcing newly revised opening dates for educational institutions, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated that the announcement was a product of review of ongoing modelling of the state’s response to the pandemic – leaving many residents upbeat that life is gradually returning to normalcy after more than five months of lockdown that grounded social and economic activities to a halt.

The decision to reopen schools in Lagos State came five months after schools, alongside other sectors of the economy, were shut down to curtail the spread of the virus. Of a fact, going by news from COVID-19 response sector in recent days, new cases of COVID-19 keep dropping across states, with more people recovering from their infection.

Last week, there were 1,822 new cases and 14 fatalities, while 2,547 people recovered from their infection. While health authorities appear cautious not to jubilate that the country is gradually seeing a flattening of the COVID-19 curve, daily updates from the NCDC have shown a lowering rate of new infections. Of 53,727 cases confirmed so far since Nigeria recorded its first case on February 27, 41,314 cases have been discharged and 1,011 deaths recorded.  All these came from a total of 398,304 tests that have been carried out in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as of August 29.

On Saturday, August 29, the NCDC confirmed 250 new cases, 297 recoveries and zero death in the country. According to NCDC, the 250 new cases on Saturday, August 29 were reported from 20 states: Plateau (69), FCT (41), Lagos (21), Delta (14), Kaduna (14), Bayelsa (13), Enugu (13), Ekiti (11), Bauchi (nine), Ogun (eight), Edo (seven), Oyo (seven), Rivers (six), Adamawa (four), Osun (four), Nasarawa (three), Ebonyi (two), Kwara (two), Gombe (one), Imo (one). While 297 patients recovered and were discharged from various isolation centres in the country, Nigeria recorded no fatality on Saturday August 29.

On Friday, August 28, Nigerians were also hugely delighted when COVID-19 updates were released. On that day, 291 people recovered from their infection while 160 new cases took place in the country. Again, there was no report of loss of any life throughout the country on that day.  The 160 confirmed cases were reported in 15 states: Plateau (44), Lagos (27), Katsina (18), Edo (15), FCT (14), Ondo (10), Oyo (nine), Kwara (six), Abia (four), Nasarawa (four), Kano (three), Ekiti (two), Kaduna (two), Kebbi (one) and Ogun (one). As for recoveries, 291 patients were discharged in 15 states: Ekiti (50), FCT (38), Kaduna (37), Oyo (34), Plateau (25), Edo (20), Kano (20), Ondo (15), Bayelsa (14), Ogun (12), Osun (11), Rivers (seven), Borno (four), Cross River (three) and Lagos (one).

By the time NCDC released its updates on Thursday, August 27, it was also a similar feeling of optimism in the country, with recoveries almost doubled the number of new infections. Two hundred and ninety-six (296) confirmed cases were reported in 17 states: Plateau (85), Enugu (46), Oyo (31), Lagos (21), Rivers (20), FCT (15), Kaduna (13), Bauchi (12), Delta (11), Ekiti (11), Akwa Ibom (7), Ebonyi (6), Kwara (5), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Gombe (3) and Niger (2). Also on that day,  four hundred and forty-five (445) patients were discharged in 16 states: Oyo (99), Enugu (55), Plateau (49), Niger (46), Osun (41), Ondo (40), Kwara (33), Rivers (25), Kaduna (17), Ebonyi (10), Akwa Ibom (9), Ogun (7), Edo (6), FCT (4), Ekiti (three) and Bauchi (one). One death, which took place in Delta, was reported in the country on August 27.

Recoveries also outnumbered new cases on Wednesday, August 26. The NCDC announced that two hundred and twenty-one (221) confirmed cases took place in 20 states: Plateau (60), FCT (33), Kaduna (26), Rivers (18), Lagos (17), Enugu (9), Kwara (9), Ondo (9), Nasarawa (6), Anambra (5), Gombe (5), Abia (4), Delta (4), Imo (3), Edo (2), Ogun (2), Osun (2), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1) and Kano (1); while three hundred and seventeen (317) were discharged from various isolation facilities in 18 states: Oyo (87), Kaduna (30), Abia (26), Delta (22), Osun (22), Plateau (19), FCT (18), Borno (17), Ogun (15), Lagos (13), Edo (11), Rivers (9), Cross River (seven), Imo (five), Bayelsa (five), Ekiti (five), Gombe (four) and Bauchi (two). Sadly, Nigeria recorded three fatalities in two states – FCT (two) and Imo (one) – on August 26.

Like in previous days, Nigerians were in a jubilant mood when they received the COVID-19 updates on Tuesday, August 25, as recoveries almost tripled the number of new cases in the country. Two hundred and fifty-two (252) confirmed cases were reported in 18 states: Plateau (50), Enugu (35), Rivers (27), Lagos (26), FCT (18), Kaduna (18), Ekiti (10), Kano (10), Taraba (nine), Anambra (eight), Edo (eight), Oyo (eight), Delta (seven), Ogun (six), Abia (five), Bayelsa (five), Ebonyi (one) and Osun (one). The NCDC said seven hundred and seven (707) patients were discharged in 14 states: Ondo (528), Oyo (50), Kano (44), Plateau (19), Taraba (18), Ebonyi (eight), Edo (eight), Osun (eight), Kaduna (six), Lagos (five), Ogun (four), Rivers (four), Ekiti (three) and FCT (two); while Nigeria lost three souls in two states: FCT (two) and Taraba (one).

However, updates on Monday, August 24 were not too good, as new cases were slightly higher the number of those that recovered from their illness. According to NCDC, three hundred and twenty-one (321) confirmed cases were reported in 24 states: Lagos (98), FCT (34), Kaduna (30), Nasarawa (25), Benue (21), Plateau (17), Rivers (15), Adamawa (11), Ogun (11), Enugu (nine), Edo (eight), Delta (seven), Ekiti (seven), Gombe (five), Ebonyi (four), Bayelsa (three), Kano (three), Ondo (three), Cross River (two), Imo (two), Kebbi (two), Niger (two), Abia (one) and Bauchi (one). Also on August 24, three hundred and twelve (312) discharges were made in 15 states: Kaduna (69), Kwara (56), Plateau (49), Ogun (33), Nasarawa (26), Delta (21), Rivers (15), Ekiti (12), Edo (10), Imo (seven), Osun (six), Cross River (four), Benue (two), Bayelsa (one) and FCT (one); while two (two) deaths were reported in one state: Oyo (two).

There was also nothing to cheer on Sunday, August 23 when COVID-19 updates were released, as new cases almost doubled the number of those that recovered. The day also witnessed the week’s highest fatalities. Three hundred and twenty-two (322) confirmed cases were reported in the last 24 hours from 18 states – Lagos (130), Bauchi (36), FCT (25), Edo (17), Bayelsa (14), Ogun (14), Oyo (14), Anambra (13), Kaduna (12), Ondo (11), Abia (10), Osun (six), Plateau (five), Kwara (five), Kano (four), Ebonyi (three), Sokoto (two) and Borno (one). On that day, one hundred and seventy-eight (178) patients were discharged in 10 states – Kano (45), Plateau (37), Kaduna (25), FCT (21), Oyo (18), Edo (13), Kwara (eight), Bauchi (six), Osun (three) and Ebonyi (two); while five (five) deaths were reported in four states: Kwara (two), Oyo (one), Ondo (one) and Abia (one).

On the whole, comparing weekly figures showed that Nigeria may gradually be turning the tables on a global pandemic that has claimed over 800,000 lives and infected over 25 million people in 188 countries and territories since it originated in China last December. On a state-by-state basis, Lagos still remains Nigeria’s Covid-19 epicenter with total confirmed cases of 18,173, followed by Abuja (5,149), Oyo (3,107), Edo (2,577), Plateau (2,374), Rivers (2,134), Kaduna (2,114), Delta (1,744), Kano (1,725), Ogun (1,646), Ondo (1,534), Enugu (1,155), Ebonyi (973), Kwara (958), Katsina (789),  Osun (779),  Abia (763), Borno (740), Gombe (723), and Bauchi (666), Imo State (527), Benue (451), Nasarawa (434), Bayelsa (391),  Jigawa (322), Akwa Ibom (278), Ekiti (262), Niger (241), Adamawa (221), Anambra (207), Sokoto (158),  Kebbi (93), Taraba (87), Cross River (82), Zamfara (78), Yobe (67), and Kogi (5).

Although the rampaging virus has claimed nearly 836,000 lives globally, the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries. As Coronavirus continues to spread across the world, cases of the disease continue to surge in many countries, while others which had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks are now seeing infections rise again. In Africa, confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa had exceeded 1,211,827, over 28,611 deaths and more than 942,318 recovered and discharged. South Africa and Egypt have seen the largest recorded outbreaks so far, with South Africa one of only six countries in the world to record more than 600,000 confirmed cases.

Last Friday, South Africa, ranked sixth on the global COVID-19 chart, registered 1,846 new cases, its total number of infections rising to 620,132.  Reports also said 115 people died from the virus on that day, pushing the number of fatalities beyond 13,743. South Africa, with estimated 59 million population, has conducted over 3.63 million tests and its number of recoveries had surpassed 533,935. As for Egypt, which comes second in the African COVID-19 table, 5,379 souls have been lost to the virus and 98,732 people infected so far. Ranking third in Africa, Morocco has 60,056 confirmed cases and 1,078 deaths.

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