Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, became the third African country to record over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The milestone was reached on May 31 when 307 new cases took its tally to 10,162.
As Africa’s biggest economy, the federal government has continued to enforce regulations across the board even though most state governments have moved to relax restrictions.
Lagos being the economic nerve center is rolling out a progressive reopening of the economy. It is the most impacted state with over 5,000 cases as of May 31. Only Cross River State had yet to record a case.
The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, led by SGF Boss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries.
This article is dedicated to covering events from the country throughout the month of June. Our May 2020 daily updates page also gives you a rundown of major activities.
June 19: 18,480 cases, flurry of evacuee arrivals
Nigeria hit the 18,00 mark as of close of day June 18 as deaths reached 475 and recoveries hit 6,307 according to the NCDC.
Meanwhile there is what could be described as a flurry of evacuee arrivals in the capital Abuja and Lagos with a number of citizens arriving from across the world.
The diaspora commission, NIDCOM, reported on Thursday that an Air France flight departed Paris to Lagos with 15 Nigerians on board from France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Estonia. They are said to have registered for the evacuation with the Nigerian Missions in these countries.
NIDCOM today reported that 50 stranded Nigerians in Pakistan landed in Abuja, at about 01:45 via Tarco Air. Another 300 stranded Nigerians arrived at the Abuja Airport from Dubai.
- Confirmed cases = 18,480
- Number of deaths = 475
- Recoveries = 6,307
- Active cases = 11,698
Stats valid as of close of day June 18, 2020
300 Stranded Nigerians in UAE landed in Abuja, Nigeria today, Friday 19th June 2020 via
— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) June 19, 2020
June 18: tally nears 18,000; over 1,700 recoveries in a week
Tallies show that 1,761 recoveries have been recorded in one week as COVID-19 toll nears 18,000. NCDC updates showed that 587 new cases had taken the tally to 17,735.
Overall recoveries stood at 5,967 by close of day June 17 with 469 deaths. Kaduna State today received mobile testing centers, governor Nasir el-Rufai announced via social media.
The state is 8th on the most impacted list with 490 cases so far. “The mobile testing vehicle uses GeneXpert machines for the Covid-19 test. KDSG has imported 9800 of these test kits, the first government in Nigeria to do so. The state is seeking to import 40,000 more to meet its target of 50,000 Covid-19 tests,” the governor added.
KADUNA UPDATE: Malam Nasir
elrufaihas formally received the mobile testing vehicle sent by USAID to support the state’s Covid-19 testing efforts. KDSG is using the vehicle to expand its community testing efforts for the duration of its deployment to the state… pic.twitter.com/ahpccwbbdc
— Governor Kaduna (GovKaduna) June 18, 2020
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says six airlines have passed the airworthiness requirements in readiness for the resumption of commercial flight operations.
NCAA’s director for airworthiness standards, made the disclosure during a webinar earlier this week. “Six of the airlines have crossed the mark from the point of view of airworthiness.
“We have asked all the airlines that they should use only reagents that are approved by the original equipment manufacturers of their different aircraft types to disinfect their machines,” Ita Awak said.
The tentative date for the resumption of domestic flights in the country is June 21, 2020. Operators are however worried about restrictions on the number of passengers that they will be allowed to carry in the light of physical distancing rules.
Samson Fatokun, West Africa area manager of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), warned that airlines would not break even with the proposed 70 percent load factor. Airlines are expected to keep their middle seats empty.
Allen Onyeama, CEO of Air Peace airline, summed up the headache for airlines who he says would likely have to transfer costs to other passengers.
“If you want to now distribute the cost on the few people who are flying, about 50 percent or 70 percent who are flying, maybe an aircraft of about 140-seater, you are flying only 90 people, you have to distribute the other seats not being flown on the passengers
“Can Nigerians afford N70,000 worth of ticket on less than one-hour flight?” he quizzed.
Total confirmed cases = 17,735
Total recoveries = 5,967
Total deaths = 469
Active cases = 11,299
Figures valid as of close of day June 17, 2020
— TheCableIndex (@thecableindex) June 18, 2020
June 17: 17,148 cases; govt hails role of media
The government has underlined the centrality of the media’s role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Information Minister Lai Mohammed, however, appealed for more support.
He was speaking on Tuesday in a virtual meeting with the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN). ”The government is very grateful to the media. You have done a lot to bring our message (on the pandemic) to Nigerians,” he said.
He cited a poll that said 99% of Nigerians are aware of the pandemic while 95% had received information on how to protect themselves.
According to the minister, the sole preventive option available remained the Non Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI), so long as the search for a drug and vaccine continued. He urged citizens to practice physical distancing, wearing of face mask, and avoiding mass gathering whiles ensuring personal hygiene.
“You see, the truth of the matter is that as long as there is no vaccine or drug for Covid-19, the only way we can all survive is through the Non Pharmaceutical Intervention, which is actually anchored on advocacy and public sensitization and there is no way you can do this without the media in whatever form, whether it is the print, electronic or the New Media.
“Yes we are going to spend more on research and ventilators but we will spend less money on ventilators, less on isolation centres if we invest just a fraction of what we are spending on ventilators in the media,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile cases reached 17,148 as of close of day June 16. Testing has increased to almost 100,000 samples, NCDC records say. A paltry sum compared to South Africa’s over 1.1 million tests till date.
Confirmed cases = 17,148
Active cases = 11,070
Recoveries = 5,623
Deaths = 455
John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of close of day June 16, 2020
June 16: 16,658 cases, 3-year govt response plan
The government has developed a three-year Health Sector Response plan for the coronavirus pandemic, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire disclosed yesterday. The fine details of the plan are yet to be given.
Speaking at the daily PTF briefing in Abuja, he stressed that the virus was likely to stay around for long while and thus it was imperative that citizens master the art of living with it.
“We have developed a Health Sector Response Plan to cover the next 3 years divided into near, medium and long term.”
He also reiterated federal efforts aimed at boosting capacity of states in responding adequately to the virus. “Efforts are ongoing to increase the number of labs with priority given to states that do not have PCR labs including Cross River and Kogi states.”
Meanwhile the controversy relating to how musician Naira Marley managed to fly from Lagos to Abuja was unravelled yesterday when Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika disclosed that an operator, Executive Jets, has misled the authorities in the episode.
Operations of the flight company have been suspended indefinitely, will also be fined. Flight Captain will also be sanctioned for providing false information.
“Going forward we willl escalate the mechanisms we have in place, and we will be stricter in our approvals (and enforcement),” the Minister stressed.
Aviation authorities had given approval for a judge to be allowed to move from Lagos to Abuja for official duties unbeknownst to them, ExecuJet had instead flown Naira Marley and his entourage to Abuja for a concert that was not authorized.
It subsequently degenerated leading to outrage on social media after social distancing regulations were breached. The FCT authorities have since shut down the venue.
Total confirmed cases = 16,658
Total recoveries = 5,349
Total deaths = 424
Active cases = 10,885
Figures valid as of close of day June 15, 2020
June 15: 16,085 cases, resident docs strike, Abuja concert controversy
True to a threat made weeks back, resident doctors in the country are going ahead with a strike action starting today over poor pay and a lack of personal protective equipment for health workers.
The Association of Resident Doctors’ president confirmed to the BBC that they will stop providing all services including emergency care and coronavirus treatment.
Aliyu Sokomba, their leaders said the government had failed to respond to their demands, including higher risk allowance in line with their frontline role in managing the pandemic.
The strike will impact health care delivery given that one in every three doctors operating in Africa’s most populous nation is a resident doctor.
Case load passed the 15,000 mark as Nigeria consolidated third most impacted spot in Africa behind South Africa and Egypt.
Over the weekend, a lockdown concert by artiste Naira Marley stoked debate on social media after what was supposed to have patrons enjoy the show from their cars degenerated.
The FCT authorities have closed the venue of the event but more questions are being asked about how the musician and his entourage managed to fly from Lagos into Abuja for the show at a time there was still a ban on local flights.
Total confirmed cases = 16,085
Total recoveries = 5,220
Total deaths = 420
Active cases = 10,445
Figures valid as of close of day June 14, 2020
June 13: 15,181 cases; more evacuations underway
Evacuation of citizens continues aith the Foreign Affairs Minister reporting that 102 Nigerians arrived from Egypt on Friday via Egypt Air whereas 260 others were expected to arrive from India Saturday morning aboard Air Peace.
Meanwhile, government has since June 8 via the office of the secretary general to the government of the federation has published a series of before, during and after guidelines for persons being evacuated.
Evacuees are also expected to fill a form of consent for self-isolation and quarantine purposes. Evacuation is also for the time being to only Lagos and Abuja for now, according to government.
- Confirmed cases = 15,181
- Number of deaths = 399
- Recoveries = 4,891
- Active cases = 9,891
Stats valid as of close of day June 12, 2020
269 Stranded Nigerians in India landed in Nigeria (103 in Lagos, 166 in Abuja) today, Saturday 13th June 2020., about 2am, after a few hours of delay.
— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) June 13, 2020
June 12: 14,554 cases, rape SoE, Buhari bemoans virus impact
Nigeria recorded a daily record toll of 681 cases as the case load reached 14,554 with 387 deaths and 4,494 recoveries. The previous record of 663 cases in a day was recorded close of day Tuesday, June 9.
President Buhari in a national broadcast to mark the Democracy Day celebrations touched on a myriad of issues but stressed the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of the country.
The president mentioned COVID-19 about 15 times throughout the address with some of the quotes being: “We have witnessed eleven quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting recession.
“The GDP grew from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019 but declined to 1.87% in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of the decline in global economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 on February 27th 2020 and within the first 100 days, I have had cause to address the nation on three occasions within one month, which underscores the gravity of this pandemic.”
“The overall objective of the PTF COVID-19 is to ensure that the pandemic does not overwhelm our health systems, while ensuring that we maintain an effective Case Management System to help in containing the spread of the virus.”
“I am confident that the steps being taken by the PTF would result in flattening the COVID-19 curve. I, therefore, implore all Nigerians to abide by the approved guidelines and protocols. There is hope for us all if we take individual and collective responsibility.
“Government is determined to turn this COVID-19 challenge into a motivation to action by building a nation-wide public health care system that will help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for any future outbreak.”
- Confirmed cases = 14,554
- Number of deaths = 387
- Recoveries = 4,494
- Active cases = 9,673
Stats valid as of close of day June 11, 2020
June 11: 13,873 cases, Ekiti to enforce restrictions
The Ekiti State government on Wednesday warned that it was going to enforce virus restrictions issued by Governor Kayode Fayemi given that some residents continued to disregard the order especially on banning public gatherings.
“Members of the public are urged to take note that though movement and business activities are allowed from Monday to Friday, the ban on large gatherings is still in force in the State.
“Dusk to dawn curfew, inter-state travel, and the ban on social events like birthday parties, religious gatherings, festivals, political party meetings or rallies, as well as other forms of gathering of more than 20 persons, have not been lifted in Ekiti State,” the statement read in part.
Over in virus-free Cross River State, the government has begun the production of personal protective equipment which will be distributed to health facilities and schools in the state. Governor Ben Ayade on Tuesday, unveiled the PPE made at the state-owned garment factory.
He disclosed that the equipment included face masks, face shields and PPE overalls, some of which are to be deployed free of charge as the state commences trial resumption of public schools. According to him, the initiative is part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“I think that the federal government will be excited to encourage the resumption of schools because obviously the coronavirus has come to stay with us and the reality is that countries that have attempted to resume schools have had to contend with the increasing prevalence of the virus but obviously how long can we wait as a country?” he asked.
“So perhaps, we have to adopt a new lifestyle that will integrate coronavirus as part of our lifestyle,” he added.
- Confirmed cases = 13,873
- Number of deaths = 382
- Recoveries = 4,351
- Active cases = 9,140
Stats valid as of close of day June 10, 2020
June 10: Record 663 cases as cases pass 13,000
Nigeria recorded its highest daily tally on Tuesday with 663 new cases as the case load hit 13,464 according to the NCDC.
In other developments, Kaduna State became one of the last states across the north to lift its strict lockdown which lasted 75 days. Governor Nasir el-Rufai announced the lifting of the measure on Tuesday evening.
Evacuations of Nigerians is set to restart, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama announced on Monday. He disclosed that support from the Dangote Foundation had made it possible to restart after the move was suspended over logistical constraints.
Addressing the cost of evacuations at the Task Force briefing in Abuja, national coordinator Sani Aliyu said: “At the moment as far as I know, only N169 million or so was spent by the ministry of foreign affairs on evacuation of Nigerians mainly on air accommodation.
“We have got about N22 billion that was released to the PTF and just to make it clear, the PTF is not a procuring body. At the moment, that is like 0.002% and the reason why we haven’t spent so much is because of the need for prudence in the first place.
“A lot of MDAs are yet to do their procurement and a lot of MDAs are still using their 2020 budgets for their activities and as far as I am concerned, there is no problem here. We are in a pandemic situation so we are making sure that the resources we have are being used appropriately,” he said.
Members of one of Nigeria’s main medical unions say they will go on strike from Monday following frustration over pay and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Inhumane and hopeless” is how the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has described the situation for some medics in a strongly worded statement.
They are calling on their members to stop providing all medical services including emergency care and coronavirus treatment.
A nationwide strike will affect isolation centres where coronavirus patients are being treated as well as hospitals and other medical facilities. Resident doctors make up one of the largest percentage of healthcare workers in state-run specialist hospitals.
Doctor strike information by BBC Africa LIVE page
- Confirmed cases = 13,464
- Number of deaths = 365
- Recoveries = 4,206
- Active cases = 8,893
June 9: 12,801 cases, Kano mystery deaths virus-related
Most unexplained deaths across Nigeria’s northern Kano State months back were virus-related, health minister Osagie Ehanire has said.
According to him up to 60% of nearly 1,000 unexplained deaths were probably due to COVID-19. Local media outlets quoted the Minister as saying 979 deaths were recorded overall in Kano.
The team dispatched by the presidential task force on COVID-19 reached the conclusion after looking into a spike in deaths. The deaths claimed mostly elderly people with pre-existing health conditions.
A number of the victims died in hospitals whiles a sizeable number died at home. Jigawa and Bauchi States also recorded similar spikes.
“With regard to the unexplained death that occured in Kano, the team confirmed that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal local areas of the state at the rate of 43 deaths per day.
“By the end of April the number has started to reduce and have now settled to 11 deaths per day. The verbal autopsy revealed that 56 percent of the deaths had occurred at home while 38 were in the hospital.
“The investigation suggests that 50-60 (percent) may have been triggered by COVID-19 in the face of pre existing illness, a significant part was also triggered by inability to access routine care at the time due to the scare of COVID-19. Most of the fatalities were over 65 years old,” he said.
- Confirmed cases = 12,801
- Number of deaths = 361
- Recoveries = 4,040
- Active cases = 8,400
Stats valid as of June 8, 2020
June 8: Abia governor tests positive, churches reopen
Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, is the latest leader of state government to be infected. Abia commissioner of information confirmed this morning that the governor had tested positive for COVID-19.
John Okiyi Kalu, added that the governor had gone into isolation and subsequently directed his deputy to act as governor whiles he undergoes treatment and resumes duty.
He joins a list that included Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi and Seyin Makinde of Oyo all of who have recovered from the virus.
The commissioner’s statement read in part: ”Recall that on Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for COVID-19 test and subsequently directed members of the state Executive Council (EXCO) and those of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19 to submit themselves for the same test.
“On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020. Tthe result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative. On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the Governor submitted another sample at NCDC laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive.
”As a result, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gone into isolation, as required by relevant NCDC protocols, and he is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.
”Consequent on the above, the Governor has directed his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, to act on his behalf pending his full resumption of duties.
”We wish to urge all Abians to take the fight against COVID-19 serious as the disease is real but not a death sentence. Our state has the resources to manage patients back to good health.”
Places of worship, especially churches have resumed operations across the country. In Abuja, happy congregants expressed joy at being able to worship communally despite restrictions. Not all churches opened, as a number of them chose to remain closed for the time being.
Total confirmed cases = 12,486
Total recoveries = 3,959
Total deaths = 354
Active cases = 8,173
Figures valid as of close of day June 7, 2020
— TheCable (thecableng) March 22, 2020
June 7: 12,233 cases, death toll at 342
Nigeria continues to strengthen for capacity in response to COVID-19, 100 days since the index case was recorded in Lagos, this is according to head of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, he praised the leadership of the president Muhammadu Buhari and the coordination of the Presidential Task Force team, the Federal Ministry of Health and governors for their respective roles.
“In the last 100 days, our resilience has helped us pull through. I am especially grateful to members of the NCDC Team, health workers, drivers, cleaners, our partners and every person involved in the #COVID19Nigeria response.
“ We will build on these lessons for improved response,” he added. The country’s case load continues to rise within the average 300 new cases per day range and had reached 12,233 mark.
Total confirmed cases = 12,233
Total recoveries = 3,826
Total deaths = 342
Active cases = 8,065
Figures valid as of close of day June 6, 2020
— Chikwe Ihekweazu (Chikwe_I) June 6, 2020
June 3: 10,819; health workers infected
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed on Tuesday that over 800 health workers had contracted COVID-19. Out of the 812 infected, 29 were NCDC staff.
Chief Executive Chikwe Ihekweazu said the center had provided staff with Personal Protective Equipment, PPE. Contrary to claims that such workers were largely exposed in the line of work.
Government has also announced that private hospitals will now be allowed to treat COVID-19 patients. This is a reversal of an earlier order that banned such actions.
Hospitals will be expected to register with respective state governments and to train their staff
appropriately for the purpose.
- Confirmed cases = 10,819
- Number of deaths = 314
- Recoveries = 3,240
- Active cases = 7,265
Stats valid as of June 2, 2020
June 2: 10,578, restrictions eased
Nigeria has a total of 774 local government areas (LGAs). 20 of of those 774 LGAs account for 60% of all Covid-19 cases in the country, the PTF declared as it announced wide raging lifting of virus restrictions.
All schools remain closed whiles places of worship can resume operations whiles observing necessary protocols. Religious houses opening limited to once a week (regular services only), few hours hours max; but schools are several hours .No tentative dates on opening of international flights for now. But Aviation Minister says evaluation ongoing, will also involve some guidance from ICAO.
- There would be full opening for the financial sector with banks now allowed to operate with more working hours five days a week.
- The mass gathering of more than 20 people outside of a work place or places of worship remain prohibited.
- There would be controlled access to markets and locations of places of economic activities but local authorities will continue to provide guidance on opening times.
- Restrictive opening of places of worship will be based on state governments protocols and strict guidelines on physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions and just to clarify this would apply to the regular church and mosque services only.
- Mandatory supervised isolation of person of persons arriving the country will continue to be for 14 days until a new policy comes into play.
- There would be no further evacuation of Nigerians until a new policy currently developed with the private sector comes into place.
- Ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;
- Confirmed cases = 10,578
- Number of deaths = 299
- Recoveries = 3,122
- Active cases = 7,157
Stats valid as of June 1, 2020
June 1: Cases top 10,000; Task Force meets Buhari
COVID-19 cases in Nigeria reached the 10,000 mark on May 31 with 307 new cases pushing Nigeria past the line only crossed till date by South Africa and Egypt. With 10,162 cases, Nigeria is only behind leader South Africa (32,683 cases) and Egypt (24,985 cases).
The Presidential Task Force, PTF, yesterday held their weekly briefing with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidency. SGF and leader of the PTF, Boss Mustapha said they presented a report to Buhari in which they made recommendations on reopening places of worship, schools and businesses across the country.
“But you know that Mr President is the only one that can take decisions in respect of that. In the framework, the states are sub-nationals; they have their own responsibilities too.
So, it is in the exercise of those responsibilities that they met with religious bodies and agreed on the protocols and guidelines on how to open up. But in the framework of the national response, we are taking that into consideration,” he said.
The SGF stressed a long held position by the PTF that the states governments will take responsibility for the next phase of the lockdown relaxation.
- Confirmed cases = 10,162
- Number of deaths = 287
- Recoveries = 3,007
- Active cases = 6,868
Stats valid as of May 31, 2020
– Nigeria COVID
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