Covid 19 in Nigeria


The Supplies of medical equipment worth €80,000 (N32.5m) have been donated by the United Nations to Nigeria to assist in the fight against Coronavirus. 

Materials included; reagents and laboratory consumables,diagnostic machines and kits, biosafety supplies, such as personal protection equipment and laboratory cabinets, amongst others.

This disclosure was made on Friday in Abuja while briefing the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

The donation was secured by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof Tijjani Muhammad Bande, from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN agency, he said. 

“Our Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna has been able to secure from the International Atomic Energy Agency a donation of €80,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to assist the COVID-19 response,” The minister said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the first batch of supplies, worth around €4 million, would help the countries use the technique known as real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, a sensitive technique for detecting viruses currently available.

The Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi of The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the agency was dispatching the first batch of the equipment to Nigeria and more than 40 other countries to enable them to use a nuclear-derived technique to rapidly detect coronavirus.

“This emergency assistance is part of the IAEA’s response to requests for support from around 90 Member States in controlling an increasing number of infections worldwide. IAEA staff are working hard to ensure that this critical equipment is delivered as quickly as possible,” He said.

The Lagos state government has made arraignment for the Junior Secondary School (JSS) pupils to have their own radio instruction programmes that is slated to air on Naija FM 107.2.

The Programme is said to be a collaboration between the Lagos State Ministry of Education and the South Saharan Social Development Organisation.

The Education Commissioner Mrs Folasade Adefisayo stated that the programmes are to be aired from Monday for one hour daily; 12noon -1pm which would feature four subjects which includes; English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science and Civic Education. She added that the teachings are to commence from Monday, 6th of April, 2020.

She encouraged parents to inform their wards and make the best use of the quality teachings and educative programme.

While briefing defence correspondents on the preparedness of the Nigerian Armed Forces to manage COVID-19 cases, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed that the Nigerian military is set to deploy 80 medical personnel to complement the number of health workers fighting COVID-19.

He stated that the 80 medical personnel had commenced the requisite training and would soon be deployed. He also mentioned that an additional treatment centre had been provided at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos.

“In continuation of our briefing on the Armed Forces of Nigeria support on COVID-19, the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to assure the public of its commitment to the presidential directives on COVID-19. In this regard, I wish to state that we have provided an additional isolation and treatment centre, located at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo in Lagos, bringing the number to 18 centres. Equally, the training of 80 medical personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to manage COVID-19 cases has since commenced. They are being trained in batches and would soon be deployed to the various units they would serve. In addition, the recalling of retired Armed Forces medical personnel is in progress. I wish to also inform you that a strategic level preparation by the Armed Forces of Nigeria in support of COVID-19 effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria is on.  Currently, Nigerian Air Force is operating at full capacity its liquefied oxygen (LOX) Plant at the 103 Strike Group (103 STG) at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola. The plant is on a 24-hour operation to ensure uninterrupted production of pure liquefied oxygen. The liquefied oxygen is being gasified and will be stored in cylinders for immediate supply to isolation centres and designated hospitals as will be directed. Furthermore, the Defence Headquarters wishes to once again clarify that the viral videos trending online showing men in uniform are not genuine. The general public should please disregard these videos and consider it as actions of mischief makers who intend to tarnish the good image, integrity and sterling achievements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. I am to state here that the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to thank the general public for their understanding and compliance with the presidential directives in respect of the lockdown.  It should be understood that the directives are in the best interest of the Nigerian populace in order to prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.

Via his twitter handle on Friday night, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu confirmed that Ondo State has recorded its first COVID-19 case.

“We have just received confirmation of our first positive COVIDー19 case in Ondo State this evening. The infected person is currently under isolation and will be monitored. We have activated all necessary protocol to locate all contacts and will be working closely with the NCDC. The infected is in very stable condition and we ask for calm from all in Ondo State. We are on top of this and ask that our citizens continue to follow all preventive measures to ensure they remain safe.”

This was reported 48 hours after the State Government ordered closure of all its borders.

The Governor of Ogun state, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, announced on Friday, that the 62-year-old third case of coronavirus in Ogun State has tested negative and would be discharged this evening. 

The 62-year-old male patient who returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom on March 17 and was tested positive to COVID – 19 had been tested twice. 

The patient was later treated at the isolation centre at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu. 

The state government which briefed newsmen on Tuesday had said a 32-year-old patient had contacts with her father and was also tested positive to the virus. But, the governor broke the news on Friday night at his Iperu residence, Ikenne Local Government, ahead of the total lockdown of the state.

The Governor said having tested the UK returnee twice with the results showing negative, he is qualified to be discharged. He said as of the moment, two out of the four coronavirus cases in the state have been discharged.

He further said, “The cumulative number of confirmed cases so far is just four, out of which two have been discharged. As a matter of fact just before I started this address, I was informed that the third person has also tested negative twice. So, he will be discharged this evening .” 

The Osun State government has declared the search six persons with confirmed infection o COVID-19 who escaped from an isolation centre in Ejigbo on Friday night.

The six persons on the run belong to a cluster of COVID-19 cases who returned to their hometown, Ejigbo, from Ivory Coast last week and were quarantined by the state government. 

The government in statement disclosed the names of the six persons with their phone numbers.

LAWAL Waliyulah, Masifa Ejigbo.08063691573; LASISI Murafat, Olugbodi’s compd Ejigbo, +22505368845; Ganiyat Alabi.
08075441187; Yusuff Afees, Ile Alawe, Ejigbo.
07011196193 ; Isola Abibat, Ile Olori, Ejigbo.
08055905010; Nua Oyeleye, Ile Jesu, Oguro Ejigbo, 08109375276 and, Juel Olasupo, Ile Baale Ejigbo, 08149584397.

Security agents have been cautioned by the Presidential Task Force on corona virus (COVID-19) against manhandling citizens who disobey the order to stay at home over the pandemic.

Speaking at the daily media briefing of the task force in Abuja on Friday, its chairman and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, appealed to the security personnel deployed to enforce the restrictions to approach the assignment with caution.

Mustapha also appealed to Nigerians to be law-abiding and self-restraining for as long as the lockdown lasts.

The appeals came as a reaction to reports from parts of the country alleging high handedness on the part of those deployed to enforce the restrictions which were authorized by President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

The SGF also pleaded with small business owners and retailers of essential commodities not to exploit the situation to hike the prices of their goods.

He reiterated that the current situation is not only a threat to the human race, but also to the Nigerian economy and national security.

The PTF chairman, therefore, stressed the need for all citizens to cooperate with the government in all steps being taken and obeying all instructions.

Mustapha stated: “The Federal Government has ramped up its synergy with the state governments through video-conferencing communication and the platform of the Governors Forum. By these measures, a lot of gaps are being closed for uniformity of purpose.”

The PTF finds it very necessary to appeal to our law-enforcement agencies to deploy acts and caution in the course of enforcing the rules, even in the face of provocation.

We similarly appeal to all Nigerians to be law-abiding, exercise patience and self-restraint. The message from the president is that no Nigerian should on account of these rules suffer any harm or pains during this period or at any time in our national life.

To the Nigerian traders and business men and women, we appeal for resistance to the urge to hike prices of goods and commodities, during this period as our compassionate nature must prevail. This is the best time to be considerate and to show empathy for our fellow Nigerians.

In recognition of the danger to which our frontline health workers are exposed to, the government is working with other stakeholders to structure medical and life insurance cover for their protection.

The role of the Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations in this battle is also well recognised. I however urge them to deploy their resources, especially community-based manpower to shore up the arrangements by the sub-national entities.

Professor Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has tested negative for COVID-19 after eight days of isolation and treatment.

Head of the Public Relations Unit of the hospital, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, who confirmed this said that the last test on his blood sample has come back negative.

Akinrinlola said the test result arrived at about 3:45 pm and gladdened the heart of family, friends and workers of the institution.

Otegbayo had tested positive for the virus eight days ago. He was one of the eight confirmed cases in Oyo state.

The Provost of the College of Medicine and his deputy have also tested positive for the virus and have since placed themselves in self-isolation.

Mr Akinrinlola also confirmed that his result also came back negative.

A donation of 5.5 million euros has been pledged by Germany to Nigeria in its contribution to the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Germany, through the German Mission made the promise to Nigeria. The donation will be received by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

According to a tweet by the UNOCHA which reads, “Germany donates 5.5 million euro to the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund, its more critical than ever for vulnerable people to have access to clean water, food and shelter.

This will enable partners to continue delivering life saving aids amidst COVID-19.”

As part of the preventive measure against the spread of Coronavirus, the Nigeria Army has directed its tailors to produce face masks for soldiers and their families.

Col Sagir Musa, the acting Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that wash-hand basins, hand sanitizes and soaps have been provided at  barracks across the country. People coming in and going out of the barrack are screened.

He said, “The medical personnel in Bonny Cantonment, Lagos Island, Lagos State have intensified the medical screening of personnel and individuals going into or coming out of the cantonment by checking temperature and making sure individuals wash their hands in order to effectively checkmate the spread of the disease into the barracks’ community.

At the Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment housing 2 Division, Nigerian Army, there is noticeable increase in medical checks at the two major gates leading into the Cantonment.

Thermometers and hand sanitizes with the requisite medical staff are in position and available to soldiers, their families and necessary visitors into the Cantonment.

A major effort by the army is the directive given to the Tailoring arm of the service to start the production of the required masks for officers, soldiers and their families. This is due to the scarcity of the product in the open market.

In addition to implementing or enforcing the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, all army commanders have initiated measures to prevent the spread of the deadly threat into their respective barracks and other locations.”

The Military High Command announced yesterday that it would enforce the lockdown of Lagos, and Ogun states; and the nation’s capital, Abuja, as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, following the order of the federal government.

It also announced that a senior military officer tested positive for the disease and is receiving treatment. The officer just returned from foreign engagement, it added

17 treatment and isolation centers has been established across the six geo- political zones in the country,  Defense Headquarters announced 

Major General John Enenche, coordinator, Directorate of Defense Media Operations, while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the Armed Forces of Nigerian would implement all restrictions on movement in line with government directive.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is to implement all restrictions on movement in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria.

For the avoidance of doubt this includes the Presidential Directive given by the President and Commander-in-Chief, during his address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, on 29 March 2020.

A committee headed by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations is in place interfacing with all relevant ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government of Nigeria managing the COVID -19 pandemic, Enenche said.

The High Command of Nigerian Military hereby solicits the support of the general public in this trying period of the fight against COVID-19.

This can be achieved by adhering to all the medical and administrative guidelines being provided by the government at all levels”, Eneche said.

Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has disclosed through a video posted on his verified twitter handle on Saturday evening that he has tested positive to the coronavirus disease.

Governor El-Rufai in a statement said that he submitted sample for the coronavirus test earlier this week and the result came out positive on Saturday, March 28.

He also disclosed that he would be going into self-isolation, as it is the standard guideline prescribed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

He is the first case in Kaduna State.

The Lagos government has expressed fears that the state might record up to 39,000 cases of Covid-19 in the state. Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known while briefing journalists at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja on Thursday afternoon.

Although he mentioned that this may be the worst scenario analysis, however, it could be limited to 13,000 if everyone practices the measures directed by the government. He also mentioned that the figures were small as compared to outbreaks around the globe.

“Our mathematical modelling shows that the worst-case scenario is that we may see up to 39,000 cases in Lagos, but if everyone practices good social distancing, the figure will be limited to 13,000.

If we add social distancing to active contact tracing, then we will be able to bend the curve further.

The figures may seem alarming at this point, but this is just to emphasize to the Lagos community to follow instructions of the incident commander to make sure that we practice social distancing and other preventive measures.

Looking at the same time frame from the introduction of the index case, you can see that Lagos State is not seen anywhere near what Spain, Italy and Iran are showing.

So, at week two and three of our index case, we are flat and at week four, we have 37 cases; while at the same fourth week, Italy, Iran and Spain had more than 20,000 cases.

So, we are doing something right in the state,” Abayomi stated.

The Federal Government on Thursday announced its need to track 4,370 persons, who came into contact with people that were suffering from COVID-19.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed this at a press conference in Abuja. He said the country is on the verge of community transmission of the disease.

 “Coronavirus cases in the country increased to 65 on Thursday,” he said. 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said as of 7:35pm on Thursday, 12 additional cases had been recorded in Lagos State, one in Bauchi State and one in the Federal Capital Territory. Making the confirmed cases increased to 51 from 46 on Wednesday.

The majority of the confirmed cases were imported to the country from high-risk nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The disease has spread to eight states and the Federal Capital Territory. There are 44 cases in Lagos; 12  in the Federal Capital Territory; 3 in Ogun State; 1 in Ekiti State; 2 in Bauchi State; 1 Oyo State; 1 in Edo State; 1 in Osun State, and 1 Rivers State, one.

The minister of information, at the press conference on Thursday, said unless those who had contact with confirmed cases came forward, in a few days ahead, Nigeria would record a rapid increase in the number of cases.

He stated, “We have 4,370 people of interest whom we are tracing. We urge those who have had contact with suspected cases to immediately report to the authorities. We urge Nigerians to support the authorities in this regard. We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread. We must stop this immediately or we will record exponential cases in the days ahead. There is no better way to say this.”

The minister revealed that the Federal Government was considering a ban on non-essential inter-state travels, closure of motor parks as well as fumigation of some designated areas, as part of additional measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of measures to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, the Federal Government has announced its plans to ban inter-state travel and possibly close down motor parks.

Lai Mohammed, Minister for Information and Culture said this at an ongoing press briefing in Abuja, on Thursday. It’s time for enforcement, he added 

However, this is coming a day after Nigeria recorded five new cases of coronavirus with cases in the country rising to 51.

A sigh of relief was received on Thursday when the Lagos state government disclosed that six of the patients being treated for the coronavirus disease have recovered.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Air Force announced that it has airlifted medical materials donated by the Jack Ma Foundation in China from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, made this known in a statement, he stated that the airlifting of the materials is a fulfilment of the NAF’s role of providing Military Aid to the Civil Authority.

“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 24 March 2020, airlifted medical materials donated by the Jack Ma Foundation, China, for tackling the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport(NAIA), Abuja in fulfilment of the NAF’s roles of providing Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA).

The donated medical materials, which consist of 107 boxes of medical supplies and equipment, comprising surgical masks, medical disposable protective clothing, face shields and detection kits, weighing about 3,000 pounds, were airlifted in a single mission using the NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft (NAF 913) and handed over by the NAF Aircrew to a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Health.

It was led by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Abdulazeez Mashi Abdullahi, today, 25 March 2020, at the NAIA, Abuja. Speaking to the press after inspecting the delivered items, Alhaji Abdullahi thanked the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the timely deployment of aircraft to airlift the items to Abuja.

He also expressed appreciation to the NAF officers and men who participated in the airlift mission for their professional conduct. He said the donated items would go a long way in supporting the Government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Country.

The NAF leadership has also expressed the readiness of the Service to provide any form of support within its statutory responsibility of providing aid to civil authority as the Nation continues to work assiduously to deal with the threat posed by COVID-19,” the statement read.

The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, has tested positive to COVID-19 on Monday. He was said to have returned to Edo from the United Kingdom.

The state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, disclosed this to newsmen at a press briefing in Benin on Wednesday.

He also noted that the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who had close contact with Bauchi state governor Senator Bala Muhammed, at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the National Economic Council (NEC) meetings.

The Governor also had contact with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who has also tested positive to the virus.

He has now gone into self-isolation, with his samples sent for testing.

As a precautionary measure against the widespread of COVID-19 in Kwara state, the state government on Wednesday banned commercial vehicles, Okada and motor bike operators in the state.

The state also announced the closure of all mosques, churches and markets which will take effect on Thursday. As well as the ban on all social functions and engagements.

The State Deputy Governor, who is also the Chair Technical Committee on Covid-19, Mr. Kayode Alabi revealed this to reporters in Ilorin, the state capital.

He stated that the development is solely aimed at protecting the lives of the residents of the state.

Alabi said that the government would put security arrangements on ground so as to ensure the compliance of the order in the state.

He urged Kwarans to cooperate with the government in the task of curbing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

Following an audio recording that has been circulated on social media insinuating that Nigeria was planning to buy used protective gear from China has been declared untrue by the Federal Government.

At a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known, he also debunked the claim on the same platform that Nigeria was waiting for money from the World Health Organization (WHO), before taking drastic measures.

The commissioner stated that claims that the country had no funds to tackle the disease because its foreign reserves had been exhausted, funds had been stolen, and that the figure of those infected by Corona virus was understated, are all incorrect.

“This is a most irresponsible, inaccurate and definitely orchestrated job by a charlatan and should be disregarded by all Nigerians. It is obvious that this hatchet job is aimed at distracting the hard working health officials and misinforming Nigerians in order to create panic. The Federal Government will not be distracted in its efforts to fight this disease and keep Nigerians safe. Therefore, we urge all Nigerians to disregard the senseless audio,” he said.

Mohammed also stated that the news being circulated on social media that government planned to pay N8,500 to each citizen to stay at home for one month starting from March 30 is also a fake news.

He encouraged citizens seeking genuine and up-to-date information on Corona virus to log on to the website of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).