By Chioma Obinna
Despite the lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Lagos State, the epicentre of coronavirus, neighbouring Ogun and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to stem the spread of the virus, figures show that COVID-19 confirmed cases have more than double across the nation within 11 of the last 13 days.
The total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria, as of 9pm, Monday, March 30, the eve of the lockdown, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was 131 with Lagos accounting for 81, FCT 21 and Ogun 3.
But, as of Friday night, the 11th day of the lockdown, the number of confirmed cases across Nigeria was 305, more than twice of the pre-shutdown figure.
For Lagos, the figure moved from 81 to 163, 100% hike while Abuja jumped from 21 to 56, representing about 150% increase.
Ogun also recorded more than 100% increase in cases during the period under review.
The figure for the state for the 11 days moved from three to seven.
The lockdown was to last 14 days.
In essence, it expires tomorrow
According to Buhari, who announced the anti-coronavirus measure in a broadcast to the nation on Sunday, March 29, the step was to use the period to identify, trace and isolate individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases.
“We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting the spread to other states”, the President had said.
Also on the list of confirmed coronavirus cases, as of March 30, were Oyo (8), Kaduna (3), Edo (2), Bauchi (2), Osun (2), Enugu (2), Ekiti (1), Rivers (1) and Benue (1).
But as of Friday night, Osun had 20 confirmed cases, Edo 12, Oyo 11, Bauchi 6, Akwa Ibom 5, Kaduna 6, Katsina 4, Ondo 2, Enugu 2, Ekiti 2, Rivers 2, Kwara 2, Delta 2, Benue 1, Niger 1 and Anambra 1.
There were also seven coronavirus deaths across Nigeria as of Friday night.
But it isn’t all negatives for the country as 58 virus patients were discharged within the 11 of the 14 days of the lockdown.
Figures for yesterday cases were not available at press time.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, told Sunday Vanguard at the weekend that lockdown was crucial to stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Ihekweazu’s words: “Given the transmissibility of the virus that causes COVID-19, the lockdown and social distancing provide an opportunity to reduce the risk of spread. It is still too early to say, but we know from projections that implementing measures such as movement restriction, closure of large gatherings and others provide an opportunity to flattening the curve”.
The NCDC boss had said in an interview published by Sunday Vanguard last week that he expected the number of coronavirus confirmed cases to rise but that it will come down.
“We have crossed the hundred mark and the reality is that there is a virus circulating in our midst and that is why Mr President came up to speak to Nigerians,” he stated.
“In the short term, we do expect the numbers to keep rising but we also expect that we will be able to get on top of this and that is why some measures were needed and we met with Mr President”.