In the weeks since our last COVID-19 roundup, the number of infected cases in Africa has continued on a steady climb and comfortably stands on top of 2-million mark. Africa has recorded 2,379,094 cases so far with a death rate of 2.4%.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has not been having the best of times. The country is currently experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus, as shown by the rising number of cases and death toll over the last weeks.
Stats from the NCDC for the last week (December 7 to 13) show that 3,918 new cases were discovered in 33 states across the country. This is more than a 100% increase from the 1,843 cases that were recorded between November 30 and December 6.
Interestingly, the number of incoming travellers for the last week was significantly higher than that of the previous week.
15,805 people came into the country last week and 129 of them tested positive for the virus after 7 days. 11,711 people came into the country the previous week and 81 of them tested positive after 7 days. The FG insists that up to 65% of returning travellers avoid COVID-19 test which means the number of infected travellers might be a lot higher.
Here are some important developments that happened in the last week.
Sanwo-Olu tests positive for coronavirus
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu tested positive for coronavirus On December 12. This was after the governor had gone into isolation on December 11 after one of his close aides tested positive to the virus.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said that the governor is experiencing “mild symptoms and fatigue typical of a mild case of COVID”. He added that Sanwo-Olu is doing well on treatment and rest and is being closely monitored by a team from the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba.
In addition to the governor’s case, reports have it that at least 26 army generals have also contracted the virus. About 18 of the senior military officers came into contact with the late Major-General Olubunmi Irefin who died of the virus shortly after attending a conference in Abuja last week.
Second wave of COVID-19
Medical practitioners from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) have raised an alarm over the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being diagnosed at the hospitals. The president of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr Judith Jolayemi, said that the huge number of recorded cases point to a spike in communal transmission.
She suggested that schools shut down temporarily again after students go for the December holidays. In addition to the shutting down, Dr Jolayemi also recommended that the government strictly enforces the COVID-19 protocols again because reports have shown that Nigerians have become lax about keeping to them.
Regularly wash your hands, practice physical and social distancing, use sanitizers and wear your face mask.COVID-19 protocols
Before the experts from LUTH posited that the country is experiencing a second wave of the outbreak, the Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire warned on December 10 that a second wave is imminent because of the rising number of cases.
Testing and isolation centres that were previously shut down have now been reopened to respond to the surge, according to the Minister.
World Bank approves $1.5bn COVID-19 package for Nigeria
The World Bank, on Tuesday, has approved the sum of $1.5 billion to help Nigeria in its post-COVID-19 recovery efforts. The new development was announced in Washington DC and mentioned a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) that will run from 2021 to 2024. The funding will be used to provide grants to poor and vulnerable households and increase access to social and basic amenities.
The funding comes with the grave projection that the country is about to enter into its deepest recession since the 1980s. The statement by World Bank reads in part that the Nigerian “Government revenues could fall by more than 15 billion dollars this year and the crisis will push an additional five million Nigerians into poverty in 2020.”
Suggested Read: How to Apply for N3.3 billion COVID-19 Victims Support Fund
To mitigate this, the CPF will boost digital infrastructure, promote youth and women empowerment, improve primary healthcare and access to basic education among others.
The 1.5 billion dollars was approved for the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Programme for Results (Nigeria CARES) and the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS) Additional Financing projects.World Bank
Kaduna State shuts down schools again
The Kaduna state government has ordered the closure of schools in the state. This was announced by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Usman Muhammad. He said the move has become necessary in the face of the rising cases of the coronavirus in the state.
His statement explained that “while the infections cut across all age groups, this new wave especially, affects between 10 and 35 years (which form a major population in the education sector).” As a result, all schools, both tertiary and pre-tertiary, are expected to have rounded up their exams and activities and be closed by Wednesday, December 16.
Students in the basic and post-basic levels will have subjects taught to them through the Kaduna State TV and the state’s radio e-learning programmes. Schools are expected to make alternative arrangements to carry on with learning.
UK citizens receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus
Residents in the UK are now receiving doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus. The shots started getting administered from December 8 with 90-year old Margaret Keenan being the first person to receive the vaccine outside trial conditions.
40 million doses of the vaccine have been ordered by the UK, which is enough for 20 million people. The vaccine was approved by the UK health regulator weeks ago.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!