One person died from COVID-19 complications in Nigeria on Friday: the first death in over one week.
Before Friday’s fatality was recorded, no death had been reported in the country in the previous seven consecutive days for the first time since Suleiman Achimugu became the first fatality on March 23, 2020.
The Friday death took the fatality toll in the country to 2,059.
This is according to an update published by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Friday night.
Nigeria is the country with the least death toll among the top six countries affected by COVID-19 in Africa – South Africa, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Egypt.
Health experts, however, believe the death toll is likely underreported due to poor testing in the country.
Also on Friday, in continuation of a steady run of low figures, Nigeria reported 71 new infections in 10 states, according to the NCDC.
The figure, which is slightly lower than the 83 cases found a day earlier, raised the total number of infections in the West African nation to 163,652.
In the past one week, there has been a further decline in new cases as daily infections have fallen below 200. Daily infections averaged over 1,000 between December 2020 and February 2021, during the peak of the pandemic.
The 71 new cases were reported from 10 states – Lagos (24), Yobe (13), Rivers (9), Akwa Ibom (6), FCT (6), Kano (6), Osun (3), Delta (2), Jigawa (1) and Plateau (1).
Again, Lagos led on Thursday with 24 new cases to extend its lead as the state most impacted by COVID-19 in the country.
Nearly 58,000 infections have been recorded in Lagos, about one third of the country’s total. One-quarter of the total deaths from the disease were reported from the commercial city.
Since the pandemic broke out in Nigeria in February last year, the country has carried out over 1.8 million tests.
More than two-thirds of the over 163,000 people infected by COVID-19 in Nigeria have recovered after treatment.
According to the NCDC, over 154,073 patients have recovered after treatment.
Meanwhile, nearly 8,000 infections are still active in the country.
Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5 having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, a UN-backed effort that promises access to free vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population.
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About a month later, less than a million citizens have received a jab, indicating a slow start to the process.
As of April 6, 964,387 Nigerians in 35 states and the FCT have received their first doses, according to the NPHCDA – the agency responsible for the vaccination rollout.
The government has also asked states to halt new vaccinations once they go beyond half of the vaccines they were given by the federal government. This is to ensure that all those who received their first dose of the vaccine get their second dose from the limited supply of the vaccine available in the country. Nigeria has received only about 4.3 million doses of vaccine.
To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.