After the demise of Eight people from the COVID-19 disease on Sunday, taking the death toll to 1,358 in total. Nigeria, on Monday, reached another devastating milestone as 1,024 people tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as of Sunday night.
The new figure catapulted the country’s total cases to more than 100,000. This is coming about 11 months after the country recorded its first infection by an Italian traveller on February 27, 2020.
Some experts had hoped that Nigeria and much of the African continent would be spared by the pandemic in its early stages but since the second wave began in early December, the disease has been spreading ruthlessly, setting new records after months of low numbers that led to a lax on guard to safety and weak enforcement of health protocols.
On Sunday, Nigeria reported from 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 1, 024 new cases pushing the total number of infections in the country to 100, 087.
One in every six persons (16 percent) tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria in the past two weeks tested positive for the virus, indicating how far the virus has spread. Nigeria set a weekly record of reporting about 10, 000 cases in the past one week.
The spike in infections is also leading to fatalities. Eight people died from the disease on Sunday, taken the death toll to 1,358 in total. Eight people also died on Saturday.
Nigeria recorded one of its highest coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, with 12 people dying from the virus.
In the past 23 days, there have been 146 fatalities as a result of COVID-19 complications in Nigeria. The government has blamed the increasing deaths on later referrals of COVID-19 patients to treatment centres.
The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday said caregivers are holding on to suspected cases for too long before presenting them for treatment.
But health experts believe the lowering of guard on safety and the weak enforcement of protocols especially in the country’s major airports in Abuja and Lagos could be responsible for the recent surge, warning that the situation could get worse if citizens keep violating safety protocols.
The federal government recently warned that a significant increase in COVID-19 infections in Nigeria appears imminent this January due to continued violation of safety protocols during the Christmas period.
Active cases in the country rose sharply from about 3,000 about a month ago to over 17,000 due to a rise in new infections.