Nigeria has reached a milestone in its COVID-19 response with no death recorded from the highly infectious disease in one week; the first time since Suleiman Achimugu became the first fatality on March 23, 2020.

The total number of deaths from the disease has remained 2,058. The last time Nigeria recorded any fatality from COVID-19 was penultimate Thursday.

This is according to an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Thursday night.

Nigeria is the country with the least death toll among the top six most affected countries by COVID-19 in Africa. The other five countries most affected by COVID-19 in Africa are South Africa, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Egypt.

While the relatively fewer deaths may indicate Nigeria’s success in managing the disease, the government has made some errors and faced some challenges in managing the virus.

PREMIUM TIMES previously highlighted five of those challenges which include poor testing and shortages in oxygen supply.

Health experts believe the death toll, like the number of those infected, is likely higher, with Nigeria testing less than one per cent of its 200 million population.

Infections

Also on Thursday, in continuation of a steady run of low figures, Nigeria reported 83 new infections in 14 states, according to the NCDC.

The figure, which is slightly lower than the 110 cases found a day earlier, raised

the total number of infections in the West African nation to 163,581.

In the past one week, there has been a 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.

Specifics

The 83 new cases were reported from 14 states: Lagos-22, Rivers-18, Nasarawa-9, Cross River-8, Ondo-6, Delta-5, Akwa Ibom-4, Bauchi-3, Zamfara-2, Kaduna-2, Ebonyi-1, Sokoto-1, Ekiti-1, and Kano-1.

Again, Lagos led on Thursday with 22 new cases to extend its lead as the most impacted by COVID-19 in the country.

A total of 57,878 infections have been recorded in Lagos, about one third of the country’s total. A 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 154,005 patients have recovered after treatment.

Meanwhile, nearly 8, 000 infections are still active in the country.

Vaccination

Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5 after receiving 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.

About a month after, 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 an update by the NPHCDA – the agency responsible for the vaccination rollout.

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.

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