The Federal Government has warned that a significant increase in coronavirus infections in Nigeria appears imminent by January 2021 due to continued violation of safety protocols during the Christmas period.
This disclosure was made by the Director-General of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu while speaking during the National briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the NCDC boss said that Nigeria would in January 2021 pay the price of violating the COVID-19 protocols during the festivities.
While explaining the helplessness of the federal government in the face of gross violations of Covid-19 safety, Ihekweazu pointed out that the country’s health system was currently struggling to cope with the surge in the number of daily injections.
What the NCDC Director-General is saying
Ihekweazu said, “We just faced the worst week since we started responding to this outbreak. We had more cases in Nigeria last week than in any other previous week since the beginning of the outbreak.
“Pictures and videos from across the country paint a very disheartening situation because it appears that our messaging, our appeals to Nigerians over the last few months have not been heeded and we have gone ahead with business as usual. Events centres are full, social activities are full and so it is no surprise that cases are rising.
“January will be a tough month, no doubt about it. So, we have to brace ourselves for the consequences of the activities that we decided to carry out in December. Our colleagues, the Chief Medical Directors CMDs are here today because of the pressures that we face across the country”, he said.
The NCDC boss added: “Our treatment centres are filling up, we are struggling to keep up, we are struggling to find the facilities and oxygen to manage. Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care.
” So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough, but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do, liaising with state governors to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have collectively agreed on.
“We have seen some of them doing that but many of the states in the country haven’t and pretend as if there will be no consequences. This is the reality we face and so we have got to brace ourselves for January.”
On the new variant of the virus, Iheakweazu said that there was no change in the presentation of symptoms, except that it was more transmissible which would mean more cases, including critical ones, and the possible increase in fatalities.
What you should know
- The spike in the number of Covid-19 cases has seen the Federal Government, in collaboration with the state governments, announced the strict implementation of safety protocols. The government said that its analysis showed that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out, comes out positive.
- In order to reduce the possibility of importing the new strain of the virus, the federal government through the PTF has worked out additional quarantine protocols to be observed by travellers coming from the UK and South Africa.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 17th of April 2021, 67 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 164,147 confirmed cases.
On the 17th of April 2021, 67 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 164,147 cases have been confirmed, 154,304 cases have been discharged and 2,061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.8 million tests have been carried out as of April 16th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 16th April 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 164,147
- Total Number Discharged – 154,304
- Total Deaths – 2,061
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174
According to the NCDC, the 67 new cases were reported from 10 states- Lagos (26), Kaduna (11), Akwa Ibom (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (5), Kano (3), Osun (3), Abuja (2), and Plateau (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,088, followed by Abuja (19,745), Plateau (9,046), Kaduna (9,009), Rivers (7,034), Oyo (6,839), Edo (4,897), Ogun (4,627), Kano (3,935), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,563), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,017), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,810), and Abia (1,683).
Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (878), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (385), Yobe (365), Zamfara (234), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.
On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.
Lack of vaccine access will reduce Africa’s economic growth compared to rest of world – IMF
IMF forecasts that Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% in 2022.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that a continued lack of access to vaccines will see Africa’s projected growth at 3.4% compared to the rest of the world at 6%.
The IMF disclosed this in its Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2021, which was published on Thursday.
What the IMF said
- Despite turning out better than expected, growth in 2020 is estimated to have been the worst on record at –1.9 %, leading to a sharp spike in poverty.
- In 2021, the region’s economy is expected to resume expansion at 3.4%, weaker than the 6% for the rest of the world, amid a continued lack of access to vaccines and limited policy space to support the crisis response and recovery.
- Macroeconomic policies will in many countries entail some difficult choices. Saving lives remains the first priority, which will require access to affordable vaccines, ensuring that the logistical and administrative prerequisites of vaccination rollouts are in place, targeted containment efforts, and added spending to strengthen local health systems.
The IMF urged that African leaders needed to create more fiscal space and implement transformative reforms to unlock economic growth. These include mobilizing domestic revenue, strengthening social protection, promoting digitalization, and improving transparency and governance.
The body added that the need for reforms is to reduce debt and find a sustainable footing which would be a catalyst for longer-term growth and provide opportunities for the region’s new job seekers.
On growth projections
- IMF forecasts that Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% in 2022.
- South Africa is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2021 and 2.0% in 2022.
- Kenya is expected to have higher growth at 7.6% in 2021 and 5.7% in 2022.
- Meanwhile, Ghana is forecasted to grow by 4.6% in 2021 and 6.1% in 2022.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the International Monetary Fund had lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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