Nigeria’s COVID-19 deaths double in one month

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As Nigeria is recording a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases, so also is the country reporting more deaths from the virus.

In the last one month, the number of Nigerians who have died from coronavirus has almost tripled.

After analysing data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), it was discovered that the total number of deaths in December has risen to more than two times what was recorded in November.

After recording a daily average of ten COVID-19 deaths from May 28 to June 27 when 299 fatalities were reported, the number of monthly deaths in Nigeria started to drop.

From 295 within the next month, the deaths were on a steady decline until October when 24 people died from the virus, that is from September 28 to October 27.

Then the curve started to rise again — from 32 within the next month (an average of one daily) to 83 fatalities recorded between November 28 and December 27 (a daily average of 2.6).

On December 18, the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced that Nigeria may have entered the second wave of the pandemic.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the PTF, had said: “In Nigeria, the indication is that we have entered the second wave of infections, and we stand the risk of not just losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months, but also losing the precious lives of our citizens.”

Although a second wave does not mean all doom and gloom, such spike in infections usually results in increased deaths as a result of more people reporting symptoms and getting hospitalised.

In Nigeria, where less than one million people have been tested for the coronavirus, NCDC data show the testing capacity has slightly improved in recent weeks.

From 31,000 tested in the last week of November, the number of tests has continued to grow to 36,000, 40,000 and 46,000 in the first three weeks of December, respectively.

However, there is little or no evidence that the resurgence of cases is as a result of increased testing.

In fact, experts have said that during a second wave, the actual number of people getting sick with the coronavirus is increasing mostly as a result of human behaviour.

Meanwhile, the PTF has maintained that pending the availability of vaccine doses in the country, there is a need to prioritise non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distance to prevent spread of the virus.

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