Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, became the third African country to record over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The milestone was reached on May 31 when 307 new cases took its tally to 10,162.
As Africa’s biggest economy, the federal government has continued to enforce regulations across the board even though most state governments have moved to relax restrictions.
Lagos being the economic nerve center is rolling out a progressive reopening of the economy. It is the most impacted state with over 5,000 cases as of May 31. Only Cross River State had yet to record a case.
The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, led by SGF Boss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries. At the heart of the response is the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC.
This article is dedicated to covering events from the country throughout the month of June. Our May 2020 daily updates page also gives you a rundown of major activities.
June 26: 22,614 cases; infections definitely higher
National coordinator of Nigeria’s virus task force, Sani Aliyu, says the number of cases in Nigeria is far more than has so far been detected. He stressed the need for people to respect containment measures and do all it takes to stay safe and not contract the virus.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja on THursday, he said: “Many countries in the world are fighting this pandemic. Over nine million people have tested positive, not suspicion, but tested positive for the disease and at least 22,000 of them are in Nigeria,” he said.
“There are thousands more in our country. For everyone case, there are a handful of cases that we are missing because we are not able to test everybody. The containment measures that were put in place to protect the public, are there to protect the public, they’re not there to swindle them.
“No sane country on earth will destroy its own economy willingly. No sane country on earth will take major decisions that they know would be detrimental to their economy. So we’re living in really challenging times and we couldn’t have taken these decisions just on the basis of maybe suspicion that a disease exists.
“This disease does exist. Whether we like it or not, it exists. If we want to survive it, we have to start believing in it.”
According to Aliyu, if people believed Ebola and Lassa fever without experiencing it first-hand, then there was no reason to doubt the existence of COVID-19 in the country.
“We do not need to know someone personally who has died from COVID-19 to believe it is real. In fact, I think it is a disservice and it is insensitive to those families that have lost loved ones for people to continue to claim that COVID-19 does not exist,” he said.
“Let us not wait for the virus to reach disastrous proportions before we begin to believe and act. We have already seen this happen in many other countries. We must learn from their experiences to mitigate preventable fatalities.”
- Confirmed cases = 22,614
- Active cases = 14,243
- Recoveries = 7,822
- Number of deaths = 549
John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of June 25, 2020