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Nigeria coronavirus: Cases hit 10,162; rundown of May 2020 top devts

Nigeria coronavirus: Cases hit 10,162; rundown of May 2020 top devts


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. Only Cross River State has yet to record a case.

The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force led by SGF Boss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries.

This article archives our May 2020 coverage of major COVID-19 news in Nigeria. Our June 2020 daily updates page is LIVE with major updates as cases top 10,000 mark.

June 1: 10,162 cases; Buhari holds weekly meeting with Task Force

Case load passed 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

Headlines of our May 2020 coverage

May 31: Record 553 new cases as Nigeria inches towards 10,000 mark
May 30: 9,302 cases, third most impacted in Africa
May 29: record low new cases, WHO trials, Trump’s ventilators
May 28: 8,788 cases, Kogi records case
May 27: 8,344 cases, chloroquine treatment to continue
May 26: 8000+ cases, Africa’s 4th most impacted
May 25: 7,839 cases, Buhari on global impact, food sufficiency
May 24: 7,526 cases, no death recorded in 24-hours
May 23: 7,261 cases, Buhari’s private Eid, chloroquine warning
May 22: 7,016 cases, Eid uproar, more evacuations expected
May 21: 6,677 cases, northern governors express concern
May 20: Cases hit 6,401; state govts tasked to do more
May 19: Cases top 6,000; lockdown lifting risky
May 18 : 5,959 cases, Buhari meets Task Force
May 17 : 5,621 cases, three Dubai returnees infected
May 16: 5,445 cases, govt on evacuees expenses
May 15: 5,162 cases, Canada evacuation hits snag
May 14: 4,971 cases, recoveries pass 1,000
May 13: 4,787 cases, Buhari names Abba Kyari’s replacement
May 12: Cases hit 4641, Bauchi lockdown, Madagascar donation
May 11: 4,399 cases, Wike demolishes hotel, Kaduna busts escapees
May 10: 4,121 cases, US repatriation underway
May 9: 3,912 cases, UK returnees, stretched bed spaces
May 8: 3,526 cases, more repatriation flights expected
May 7: 3,145 cases, Niger State patients protest
May 6: Ban on flights extended, repatriation starts, cases hit 3,000 mark
May 6: Almost 3,000 cases, Gombe patients protest ‘poor care’
May 5: Cases hit 2,802, Buhari waives medical import tax
May 4: Relaxation of lockdown starts, Kano deaths explained
May 3: Ganduje relaxes Buhari’s lockdown, 2,388 cases so far
May 2: Nigeria tops tallies in West Africa, 5th on continent
May 1: How Nigeria recorded about 1000 cases in a week

May 31: Record 553 new cases as Nigeria inches towards 10,000 mark

The NCDC recorded a record 553 cases on Saturday bringing the total case count to 9,855. Number of discharged patients stands at 2,856 with 273 deaths so far.

Lagos State has a tally of 4,755 whiles Kano and Abuja complete the top three slots with 951 and 616 cases respectively. Cross River State remains the sole uninfected state till date.

268 Nigerians arrived in Abuja yesterday, the latest batch of evacuees returning through the intervention of government. The Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, shared a video of the arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

All evacuees will be proceeding on compulsory 14-day quarantine as mandated by the NCDC and Health Ministry, NIDCOM further noted. Previous evacuations include from U.S, U.K, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

On May 25, NIDCOM also facilitated the return of 50 trafficked girls and Nigerians stranded in Lebanon. A number of African countries including Ethiopia have undertaken similar evacuations.


268 Stranded Nigerians in China land in Abuja Int’l airport at exactly 2:30 pm Nigerian time today 30th May 2020.

All Evacuees will be proceeding on Compulsory 14 days quarantined as mandated by NCDC and Fmohnigeria. NigeriaGov channelstv pic.twitter.com/b0a3FCVtOw

— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (@nidcom_gov) May 30, 2020

May 30: 9,302 cases, third most impacted in Africa

Nigeria became Africa’s third most impacted country on Friday after crossing the 9,000 mark and toppling Algeria from the slot. Only South Africa and Egypt have more cases than Nigeria.

The NCDC confirmed the second highest daily toll of 387 cases which took the national tally to 9,302 cases. The figure means between May 26 and May 29, the country recorded a total of 1,234 COVID-19 cases.

The 387 new cases recorded in 13 states and the federal capital territory (FCT). The highest daily toll was recorded on May 27, with 389 new COVID-19 cases. 35 states and the FCT have recorded cases with the sole uninfected being Cross River State.

The number of discharged persons increased from 2,592 to 2,697, while two deaths were recorded, increasing the figure of fatalities from 259 to 261.

A breakdown of cases by state can be found via https://t.co/zQrpNeOfet#TakeResponsibility pic.twitter.com/Zjn07yo1Wl

— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 29, 2020

May 29: record low new cases, WHO trials, Trump’s ventilators

A record low new cases was recorded by the NCDC late Thursday as cases reached 8,915. The 182 new cases was a low compared to between 200 – 300+ cases recorded over the past week.

President Buhari on Thursday also joined a United Nations virtual meeting which discussed financing of development in the post COVID-19 era. He was joined by a number of fellow presidents and government leaders.

Nigeria will also partake in the UN’s solidarity trials which is seeking a vaccine for the virus. A number of African countries including South Africa are taking part. The other clinical trial underway is of chloroquine.

At the daily press briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19, information minister Lai Mohammed gave updates on claims by US president Donald Trump that he had ordered ventilators to be sent to Nigeria.

The first time Trump raised the issue was in April. Last week, during a working visit in Michigan, the US president stressed that he had sent 1,000 ventilators to the West African country. But the minister said if the consignment arrived, it would be announced publicly.

Trump spoke to Buhari on 28 April during which exchange the promise was reportedly made. He said also spoken to South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta over US support for combating the pandemic in the respective countries.

Total confirmed cases = 8,915 (new cases = 182)
Total recoveries = 2,592
Total deaths = 259
Active cases = 6,064

Figures valid as of close of day May 28, 2020

May 28: 8,788 cases, Kogi records case

Kogi State became the last but one state to record infections. The NCDC reported two cases from there on Wednesday evening. It means Cross River State remains the sole uninfected state as of May 27.

The NCDC also stressed the need for state governments to take charge of managing the pandemic in their jurisdictions. The outfit said it currently had 100,000 reagents available for testing.

At the daily briefing, Minister of State at the Education Ministry also touched on reopening of schools. “Until we can guarantee safety of children from COVID-19, our schools cannot resume. We will provide guidelines for the safe re-opening of schools,” Emeka Nwajiuba said.

Minister of state at the Health Ministry also said the ministry was developing sector specific advisories for the reopening of various sectors of the economy. Minister Olurunnimbe Mamora also said training on case management was ongoing for health workers nationwide.

Total confirmed cases = 8,733 (new cases = 389)
Total recoveries = 2,501
Total deaths = 254
Active cases = 5,978

Figures valid as of close of day May 27, 2020

May 27: 8,344 cases, chloroquine treatment to continue

The director of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac), Mojisola Adeyeye, has disclosed that clinical trails for virus treatment using chloroquine will continue despite a recent move by the WHO to suspend a similar trial over safety concerns.

She told a local broadcaster that even though Nafdac did not dispute WHO’s conclusions, the decision to continue with the trial was in order to generate their own data.

“I do not know the data that they’re looking at, whether it’s from the Caucasian population or from the African population. If the data they’re looking at and the reason for suspending the trials is from Caucasian population, then it may be justified.

“But I don’t think we have data from the African population yet, because our genetic make up is different,” she added. Lagos State had announced last week that trials were to start with the anti-malarial drug.

A number of African countries have also been using the drug to treat COVID-19. Algeria has also said it will continue using it for treatment. Cameroon’s health minister recently affirmed that chloroquine continued to be the preferred drug for treatment.

Medical journal, The Lancet reported on Friday May 22 that patients getting hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates than other coronavirus patients.

The WHO has 3,500 patients from 17 countries enrolled in what it calls the Solidarity Trial. This is an effort overseen by the WHO to find new treatments for COVID-19.

Total confirmed cases = 8,344 (new cases = 276)
Total recoveries = 2,385
Total deaths = 249
Active cases = 5,710

Figures valid as of close of day May 26, 2020

May 26: 8000+ cases, Africa’s 4th most impacted

Cases in Nigeria breached the 8,000 mark on Monday evening when the NCDC announced 229 new cases. The latest tally of 8,068 cases means that Nigeria is currently fourth most impacted on the continent.

It comes behind, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco. The country has consistently recorded 100 plus new cases for the last over one month.

Lagos continues to be the most impacted state whiles Kano is marching towards the 1,000 mark. Two states have yet to record cases, Cross River and Kogi.

Total confirmed cases = 8,068 (new cases = 229)
Total recoveries = 2,311
Total deaths = 233
Active cases = 5,524

Figures valid as of close of day May 25, 2020

May 25: 7,839 cases, Buhari on global impact, food sufficiency

President Buhari has stressed the global impact of COVID-19 describing it as a leveler between the developed and developing world. He noted the fewer deaths that Africa was recording as against figures from other continents.

Speaking at the presidential villa where he observed the post-Ramadan Eid prayers, Buhari also expressed hope that local food production could be rapidly scaled up to cater for needs of Nigerians.

He commended the Minister of Health and asked all citizens to obey all laid down protocols to the later in the interest of public safety. The first lady Aisha Buhari also reiterated the call to obey health instructions while condoling with families of those lost and wishing the ill speedy recovery.

“You can see that COVID-19 has reduced us, when I say us; both the developed and the developing countries to the same level. In fact we have less casualties than they have. So it is a very frightening development.

“I advice Nigerians to be very careful and to take the advice from the Ministry of Health. The Minister of health has been doing very well, speaking and educating people, so Nigerians we should be very careful.

“I hope the raining season will be bountiful, we will get a lot of food, I wish the farmers will go and till the land so that we can produce what we eat. Especially so that we don’t have to import, we don’t have any budget to import food; so we must produce what we are going to eat.”

Total confirmed cases = 7,839 (new cases = 313)
Total recoveries = 2,263
Total deaths = 226
Active cases = 5,350

Figures valid as of close of day May 24, 2020

May 24: 7,526 cases, no death recorded in 24-hours

No virus-related death recorded in a day for the first time in the month of May 2020, according to records released close of day Saturday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

But 265 new cases across 12 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) took the national tally to 7,526 cases. Lagos recorded the highest tally with 131 cases, with Oyo and Edo completing the top three slots with 34 and 28 cases respectively.

The number of recoveries increased from 2,007 to 2,174, with the active cases as at Sunday morning pegged at 5,131.

As Nigeria settles into the second phase of the eased lockdown declared by the federal government, the NCDC has issued a modified set of guidelines for businesses as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

In the document released in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and entitled “Guidelines for Employers and Businesses in Nigeria,” the agency listed five points under the general guidelines for work premises as follows:

“Wash hands or use an alcohol-based sanitiser as soon as they enter office premises. Ensure hands are washed
hands after using the washroom, before eating and regularly throughout the work day, ensuring colleagues follow this sdvice too.

“Encourage employees to cover their nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing, followed by washing of hands. Alternatively, sneezing or coughing into their
bent elbow if no tissue is available. Used tissues should immediately be disposed of in a covered bin, and not left lying around on any public surfaces.

“Ensure provision of covered bins in office and business premises.

“Office and business premises should be cleaned and disinfected daily, especially frequently touched surfaces like tables, door handles, countertops, computers, light and air conditioner switches which should be cleaned frequently during the day.

“Keep all offices well ventilated, opening windows regularly to enable fresh air.”

Additional reporting by The Cable News Portal

A total of 7,526 COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed in 34 states and the FCT.
Total confirmed cases = 7,526 (new cases = 265)
Total recoveries = 2,174
Total deaths = 221
Active cases = 5,131

May 23: 7,261 cases, Buhari’s private Eid, chloroquine warning

President Buhari will be observing Eid under strict lockdown rules. He will conduct prayers at home with his family and will not receive the traditional paying of homage by government officials and well wishers, the presidency confirmed in a statement of May 22.

“This is in observance of the lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, put in place “to save lives and protect people from all dangers.”

“This is also in line with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III suspending Eid congregational prayers across the country as well as the protocol against mass gathering issued by the presidential task force on COVID-19,” a statement read.

In his address at the May 21 briefing of the task force, SGF Boss Mustapha addressed the issue of chloroquine relative to self medication: “Through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, we have received reports that Nigerians have been purchasing Hydrxoychloroquine in large quantities.

“We wish to reiterate that this drug has not being certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities. Self-medication of any kind, is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties.

“We, therefore strongly warn against self-medication. If you are sick, please seek medical advice and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility. The COVID-19 is highly infectious and dangerous,” he stressed.

Total confirmed cases = 7,261 (new cases = 245)
Total recoveries = 2,007
Total deaths = 221
Active cases = 5,033

Figures valid as of close of day May 22, 2020

May 22: 7,016 cases, Eid uproar, more evacuations expected

The case count has passed the 7,000 mark reaching 7,016 according to stats as of close of day May 21. Level one of eased lockdown remains in place according to National Coordinator of the presidential COVID-19 Task Force.

Meanwhile, the subject of easing restrictions on gatherings in some northern states took a new dimension after the leader of Muslims – the Sultan of Sokoto – urged faithful to observe the Eid prayers at home.

Whiles Kano, Katsina, Bauchi and Jigawa are on record to have eased restrictions which means people can attend public prayers whiles observing safety protocols, in Kaduna State, the government has kept in place stay away orders.

During the daily briefing on the national situation, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama announced that more evacuation plans were underway. He reiterated that so far returnees have arrived from the UAE, UK, US and more recently Saudi Arabia in that order.

“We’re coming to end of 14-day quarantine for first and second batches of Nigerian evacuees. Some of them need to travel across State lines to get home. I spoke to Inspector General of Police and he has directed ComPols in Abuja and Lagos to give them personalised passes for travel,” he added.

Total confirmed cases = 7,016 (new cases = 339)
Total recoveries = 1907
Total deaths = 211
Active cases = 4,898

Figures valid as of close of day May 21, 2020

May 21: 6,677 cases, northern governors express concern

The Northern Governors Forum, NGF, has expressed concern over the infection rates of COVID-19 across the region. That 54% of national tally and 70% of new infections are in the region was a cause for concern during their virtual meeting on Wednesday.

The issue is further exacerbated by incidents of violent and deadly crime across some states including terrorist violence in Borno, banditry in Katsina and other areas.

“The NGF has acknowledged and appreciated the intervention of the federal government following their request to President Muhammadu Buhari for the deployment of more security personnel to the region to tackle banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, and other crimes which are threatening livelihoods and preventing farmers from going to their farms,” chairman and Plateau State governor Simon Lalong said.

Touching on the issue of young boys sent across states to unregulated Islamic upbringing centers, the governors agreed that all instances of sending such kids to home states should be done following laid down protocols from profiling through testing till responsible handover.

The almajiris have become a hotspot for infection after a number of them tested positive in recent weeks. NGF also agreed to purchase of mobile testing vans to boost testing especially in rural areas.

Meanwhile, there is strong misgiving over decision of some states to allow congregational prayers, principally Kano, Bauchi and Katsina. The reprieve comes with days to the post-Ramadan Eid celebrations.

Social media users are lambasting state governments who they insist are by their actions endangering the lives of ordinary citizens. They cite rising cases as enough reason to keep stay away orders in place.

Total confirmed cases = 6,677 (new cases = 226)
Total recoveries = 1,734
Total deaths = 192
Active cases = 4,475

Figures valid as of close of day May 19, 2020

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 20th May, 2020 has been published.

Our daily #COVID19 situation reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria.

Download via:https://t.co/Xo1WG4QDYT#TakeResponsibility pic.twitter.com/qWjF4zX7iu

— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 21, 2020

May 20: Cases hit 6,401; state govts tasked to do more

Total confirmed cases = 6,401 (new cases = 284)
Total recoveries = 1,840
Total deaths = 200
Active cases = 4,637

Figures valid as of close of day May 20, 2020

State governments are being tasked to do more in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the call of Sani Aliyu, national coordinator of the presidential task force. He was speaking at the daily press briefing on Tuesday.

“The response to COVID19 cannot primarily be driven at the Federal level, we need states to take more ownership. Our responsibility is to provide guidance and ensure adequate compliance to recommended measures across board,” he stressed.

His view is a reiteration of President Buhari’s directive to governors during a virtual meeting on Monday.

“In my meeting with the Governors today, I informed them that I have directed the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to work very closely with all State Governors. To succeed in containing this pandemic we have to improve collaboration,” Buhari said in a tweet.

Video: At today’s Press Briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, I explained the whereabout of the 15 Chinese Nationals who came into the country.

They are still in the country because there is a restriction on travels in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/E58a6eqOlx

— Rauf Aregbesola (@raufaregbesola) May 19, 2020

May 19: Cases top 6,000; lockdown lifting risky

Total confirmed cases = 6,175 (new cases = 216)
Total recoveries = 1,644
Total deaths = 191
Active cases = 4,340

Figures valid as of close of day May 18, 2020

The federal government says Nigeria is not ready for total lifting of lockdown, hence the first level of easing will be in place for the next two weeks.

Speaking at the daily briefing of the presidential task force, SGF Boss Mustapha said a lifting despite small gains will amount to a risk.

“The reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority. Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace.

“Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued,” he stressed.

Task Force recommendations okayed by President Buhari include:

a. The measures, exemptions, advisories and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12.00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020);
b. intensifying efforts to “tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)” cases;
c. elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions;
d. Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks
e. Imposition of precision lockdown in states,or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases,when the need arises. This would be complemented with provision of palliatives & continued re-evaluation of impact of the interventions;
f. Aggressive scale up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk states

The first phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown in the capital, Abuja, as well as the commercial hub Lagos and Ogun state ended on Monday and the second phase was scheduled to begin after assessment. Officials say the initial loosening of restrictions will be maintained for another two weeks.

This means airports, land borders, schools, parks and places of worship will remain closed. Large gatherings and interstate travels remain banned. A nationwide curfew from 20:00 to 06:00 local time still remains in force.

The total lockdown imposed on Kano state two weeks ago following reports of unexplained deaths also remains in place. But government offices, banks and markets will continue to operate for limited hours.

Additional reporting from BBC

May 18 : 5,959 cases, Buhari meets Task Force

Total confirmed cases = 5,959 (new cases = 338)
Total recoveries = 1,544
Total deaths = 182
Active cases = 4,183

Figures valid as of close of day May 17, 2020

President Buhari on Sunday evening met with the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force team at his residence for their weekly briefing.

Among those present were Boss Mustapha; Secretary to the Government of the Federation and head of the Task Force. The Health Minister, national coordinator of the Task Force and the NCDC boss were all in attendance.

Nigeria’s response is run by the Task Force which holds daily briefings in the capital Abuja to update the nation on the status of the pandemic in Africa’s most populous nation.

President MBuhari receives Briefing from Presidential Task Force on #Covid19 at the State House | 17th May 2020 #AsoVillaToday

BayoOmoboriowo pic.twitter.com/qpg8D99WfP

— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 17, 2020

Nigeria’s current tally of 5,959 cases means it is West Africa’s most impacted country toppling Ghana to the slot. The 338 new cases represent the highest figure in a week.

Other news:

  • Kano state officials donate half salaries to COVID-19 response
  • Humanitarian Affairs Minister delivers federal food support to Kano
  • Nigeria impounds UK jet for flouting regulations
  • Lagos outlines conditions for lockdown lifting
  • Delta, Bauchi, Zamfara States distributing food palliatives

COVID-19. Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!??

— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) May 17, 2020

May 17 : 5,621 cases, three Dubai returnees infected

Total confirmed cases = 5,621 (new cases = 176)
Total recoveries = 1,472
Total deaths = 176
Active cases = 3,973

Figures valid as of close of day May 16, 2020

Three people who recently returned from the United Arab Emirates on an evacuation flight have tested positive for COVID-19.

Lagos commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi, made the announcement on Sunday via his Twitter handle. “3 of the returnees recently evacuated from Dubai have tested positive for #COVID19 infection following #COVID19 test conducted on them,” he said.

He added that the infected persons have subsequently been admitted to a care centre for appropriate treatment protocols. He stressed that Lagos state will continue to adhere strictly to quarantine protocols and enforce necessary precautionary measures so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The three persons were part of the 256 others who arrived in Lagos from Dubai on May 6 via a special Emirates flight. As per government measures all such returnees are subjected to 14-day quarantine. Lagos State agreed to cater for the set of returnees.

Others from the United States and United Kingdom arrived in Lagos but were moved to Abuja where they are observing paid-for quarantine. More evacuations have been planned by the federal government.

May 16: 5,445 cases, govt on evacuees expenses

Total confirmed cases = 5,445 (new cases = 288)
Total recoveries = 1,320
Total deaths = 171
Active cases = 3,959

Figures valid as of close of day May 15, 2020

During their press briefing on Friday, the presidential task force covered a wide range of issues relative to the spread of the virus and containment efforts.

SGF Boss Mustapha disclosed how much funds had been raised so far as federal intervention. He put it at over 792 million naira deposited into the Treasury Singe Account from various in-country sources.

He further gave updates on federal interventions to help Sokoto and Borno States with some challenges. On Kano, he reiterated that the mystery deaths had stabilized due to cordial relations between federal and state actors.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said he would be representing Nigeria at an upcoming WHO’s Annual World Health Assembly event (May 17) which is dedicated to efforts aimed at combating COVID-19.

Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk reiterated government’s resolve to continue with a remodelled school feeding program where families of beneficiary pupils are given foodstuffs.

She disclosed that 3.1 million households were on queue to be served. Contractors list had been submitted to EFCC for due diligence even though they are all old agents and a number of international and local partners are on board to monitor the roll out.

For his part, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffery Onyeama explained at length why Nigerian returnees were asked to cater for their accommodation and feeding at isolation centers.

“In regards to why evacuees who have paid to come home, will have to pay for feeding and accommodation: this is not by any stretch of imagination that the government is happy to do.

“If the resources were available, we would evacuate everybody and if our medical infrastructure were solid and case load was much lower, we could revisit our protocol.

“But the fragility of our health infrastructure, the trajectory of the increasing numbers of positive test being what they are, we have to take the greatest care with regards to the protocols adopted.

He stressed the importance of quarantining returnees and disclosed that talks of using NYSC centers for the purpose had been mooted and remained under consideration.

“We’ve brought in upwards of 620 evacuees who have to be managed, there are human resources needed to be present, to monitor and manage the evacuees apart from other administrative arrangements needed to be put in place.

“So we want to take sometime to process the ones we have at the moment before we admit others coming back, because we don’t have the capacity at the moment. This is a challenging situation especially because the funding resources are not available,” he added.

May 15: 5,162 cases, Canada evacuation hits snag

Total confirmed cases = 5,162 (new cases = 193)
Total recoveries = 1,180
Total deaths = 167
Active cases = 3,815

Figures valid as of close of day May 14, 2020

Speaking at the daily briefing of the presidential task force, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed that evacuation plans from Canada had hit a glitch.

“It is true the Canadian government denied landing rights to a Nigerian carrier scheduled for evacuation duty, on grounds that the airline does not have a license to undertake commercial flights to Canada.

“Our High Commission is engaging with Canadian government on this issue. The argument our High Commissioner is making is that this is not a regular commercial flight, but instead an emergency evacuation flight. So negotiations are ongoing with the Canadian government,” he further clarified.

Nigeria has through the Ministry and diaspora commission evacuated nationals from the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates in the past weeks.

Updates: The #Nigeria One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund Board approves US$ 22 million procurement of essential medical supplies to enhance the national response.

Read more: https://t.co/uoWUaWLSte#StrongerTogether UN_Nigeria NigeriaGov DigiCommsNG NCDCgov EUinNigeria pic.twitter.com/wm0srAMh33

— UNDP Nigeria (UNDPNigeria) May 14, 2020

May 14: 4,971 cases, recoveries pass 1,000

Total confirmed cases = 4,971 (new cases = 184)
Total recoveries = 1,070
Total deaths = 164
Active cases = 3,737

Over in north-eastern Yobe State, there are reports of mysterious deaths which authorities say have led to 471 being buried in the past five weeks.

The situation is similar to that of Kano State where government has ordered the NCDC to probe a spike in deaths weeks ago.

Yobe State Commissioner for Health Muhammad Lawan Gana told the BBC that an initial investigation found most deaths were of elderly people with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Officials say the toll is unusually high from health issues but have not linked it to the coronavirus. They admit however that some deceased persons had shown symptoms.

National coordinator for the presidential task force on COVID-19 last week said the Kano deaths were virus-related but Health Minister Osagie Ehanire later said the investigations were yet to be concluded.

May 13: 4,787 cases, Buhari names Abba Kyari’s replacement

Case statistics at close of day May 12 stood at 4,787 with 146 new cases. The number of discharged and deaths stood at 959 and 158 respectively. The new cases were spread across 19 states and FCT, the top three being 57 in Lagos, 27 in Kano and 10 in Kwara.

Meanwhile, the first virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting was held today during which Buhari named a new chief of staff in the person of Ibrahim Gambari. He succeeds Mallam Abba Kyari, who passed away on April 17, 2020 after contracting coronavirus.

The new chief of staff has had a diplomatic distinguished career he was Minister of External Affairs (1984-1985) and subsequently Ambassador / Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999).

  • Professor Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID (2010-2012).
  • He is currently a Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
  • Professor Gambari attended the Provincial (now Government) Secondary School, Ilorin, before proceeding to the Floreat Collegium Kings College, Lagos.
  • He received his BSc (Econs) degree from the London School of Economics (1968) and his MA and PhD in Political Science/International Relations (1970, 1974) from Columbia University, USA.
  • He has taught at Universities in the Unites States, Nigeria and Singapore, and has to his credit the authorship of a number of books.
  • He has received several academic and national honours, including the “Commander of Federal Republic of Nigeria” (CFR), and the “Order of the Champion of the Oliver R. Tambo” (OCORT) of South Africa.
  • He is the Pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Ilorin, Nigeria, as well as the current Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (BUK). He is married with children and grandchildren.

May 12: Cases hit 4641, Bauchi lockdown, Madagascar donation

Case statistics at close of day May 11 stood at 4,641 with 242 new cases. The number of discharged and deaths stood at 902 and 150 respectively. The new cases were spread across 13 states and FCT, the top three being 88 in Lagos, 64 in Kano and 49 in Katsina.

Bauchi state governor Bala Mohammed on Monday announced a 10-day lockdown on three areas that border Kano state in a bid to contain spike in COVID-19 cases.

He said via a tweet that the lockdown was necessary to curb rapid community transmission that it will allow for effective contact tracing and testing.

Governor Mohammed said movement within and out of the local government areas is prohibited so as to allow health officials to work without interference.

SGF speaks on Madagascar donation

SGF Boss Mustapha during the press briefing of the presidential task force disclosed details about Madagascar’s donation of herbal cure to Nigeria via Guinea-Bissau.

“Madagascar has made allocations to various countries, and sent them to Guinea Bissau. We‘re supposed to make arrangements to freight Nigeria’s allocation from Guinea Bissau; it‘ll be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.

“Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar Covid-19 Syrup; also given clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals; there will be no exceptions for this.

“Nigeria has only one National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Where there are differing Strategies is in the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. But as far as the (Health) Response is concerned, there is only one National Response,” he stressed.

May 11: 4,399 cases, Wike demolishes hotel, Kaduna busts escapees

Nigeria case statistics stood at 4,399 with 248 new cases. The number of discharged and deaths stood at 778 and 143 respectively. The new cases were spread across 16 states and FCT, the top three being 81 in Lagos, 35 in Jigawa and 26 in Kano and Borno.

Over in Rivers State, the demolition of two hotels by the state government for flouting COVID-19 rules have generated a heated backlash on Governor Nyesom Wike.

According to the Rivers government, the hotels were demolished for flouting government’s directive on the closure of hotels as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Cable news portal, reports that a human rights lawyer slammed the move as despotic and accused the Governor of arrogating onto himself powers he did not have.

“It is absolutely pathetic that under the Quarantine Act upon which the governor purportedly issued the executive order, there is no provision at all for the demolition of properties,” Tope Akinyode said in a statement.

Over in Kaduna State, security agencies apprehended two people who fled their homes after test results showed that they had contracted the virus.

Governor El-Rufai announced the “escape” decrying its potential impact on residents of the state but hours later, he confirmed that they had been found and since transferred to an isolation and treatment center.

Briefs of major daily developments and our COVID-19 blog on Nigeria has more information

  • May 10: 4,121 cases, US repatriation underway
  • May 9: 3,912 cases, UK returnees, stretched bed spaces
  • May 8: 3,526 cases, more repatriation flights expected
  • May 7: 3,145 cases, Niger State patients protest
  • May 6: Ban on flights extended, repatriation starts, cases hit 3,000 mark
  • May 5: Almost 3,000 cases, Gombe patients protest ‘poor care’
  • May 5: Cases hit 2,802, Buhari waives medical import tax
  • May 4: Relaxation of lockdown starts, Kano deaths explained
  • May 3: Ganduje relaxes Buhari’s lockdown, 2,388 cases so far
  • May 2: Nigeria topples Ghana to become most impacted in West Africa
  • May 1: How Nigeria recorded about 1000 cases in a week

May 10: 4,121 cases, US repatriation underway

Nigeria case statistics stood at 4,151 with 239 new cases. The number of discharged and deaths stood at 745 and 128 respectively. The new cases were spread across 15 states, the top three being 97 in Lagos, 44 in Bauchi and 29 in Kano.

On Sunday morning, the national diaspora commission reported that 160 Nigerians were enroute to Abuja from the United States. The team have since arrived

“160 Nigerians stranded in the United State of America boarding in US Enroute to Abuja where they will be quarantined for compulsory 14 days as approved by NCDC and the Ministry of Health,” the commission posted on Twitter.

They become the third batch to be repatriated. The first was from the United Arab Emirates last week before another batch flew in from the United Kingdom. Government has stressed that arrangements are being made to help other stranded Nigerians return home.


160 Nigerians stranded in the United State of America boarding in US Enroute to Abuja where they will be quarantined for compulsory 14 days as approved by NCDC and the Ministry of Health.NigeriaGov abikedabiri seunokin APCUKingdom pic.twitter.com/zGxIv1IHq9

— Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (nidcom_gov) May 10, 2020

Meanwhile Lagos State governor has threatened that a new lockdown could be imposed if people continue to flout rules put in place.

Speaking during the first briefing since the five-week lockdown was eased, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said: “Another round of interminable lockdown of movement and business activities would be introduced if there is no improvement in the adherence to the guidelines initiated to break the cycle of transmission of the dreaded virus.”

“As a Government elected to uphold security of its citizens, which include health security, we will not hesitate to review the terms of the easing of lockdown if we do not see an improvement in adherence to our public health guidelines in the next couple of days,” he said.

“We will be forced to take a painful decision of bringing the entire system under lockdown if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.”

May 9: 3,912 cases, UK returnees, stretched bed spaces

The case statistics as of close of day May 8 stood at 3,912 cases with 117 deaths and 679 recoveries, according to the NCDC. The figure represents 386 new cases.

Nigeria has also been toppled by Ghana as West Africa’s most impacted. Their cases shot to 4,012 on Friday night with over 900 new cases.

Meanwhile over 260 citizens returned from the United Kingdom on Friday on a repatriation flight. They arrived in Lagos and were subsequently flown to Abuja for mandatory quarantine, government confirmed.

At Friday’s briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19, the leader SGF Boss Mustapha revealed that states were running out of bed space and that federal plans were afoot to help remedy the situation.

“We’ve received Reports from States, which suggests that treatment centres are running out of bedspaces… PTF shall begin to examine our peculiar circumstances, modify strategies for care management, & consider viable alternatives, where necessary,” the SGF said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the issue of Nigerians in France seeking to fly to Cotonou, and enter Nigeria by land said: We’ve successfully brought in about 100 Nigerians from Benin & Togo, so we already have tried-and-tested methodology and procedures for bringing Nigerians across the border.

NDCD head also disclosed that the country plans to roll out 2 million tests in the next few months and that government and international partners had already started putting in place procurement measures.

May 8: 3,526 cases, more repatriation flights expected

381 new cases were recorded by close of day May 7 bringing the case count to 3,526, the NCDC announced. Lagos, Kano and Jigawa recording the top three highest figures with 183, 55 and 44 cases respectively.

Nigeria thus extends its lead in the sub-region whiles consolidating its spot in the most impacted nations category across Africa.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has stressed that more repatriations were expected to be undertaken in the coming days after the first from the UAE arrived on Tuesday.

A flight from the UK is expected to arrive today whiles another from the US will land in Lagos on Saturday. The Minister stressed that the process had been made easier thanks to the instrumentality of Lagos State as ‘hosts’ and especially its governor.

With respect to repatriation from India, he said negotiations are ongoing with a number of airlines, including Nigerian airlines. Once the Airline(s) are selected; interested Nigerians will be asked to pay directly to the Airlines.

For his part, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said federal government continues to replenish stock of Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers across the country.

On the returnees, he reiterated that: “All Nigerians returning from abroad will undergo mandatory supervised quarantine in selected hotels for 14 days, before they will be allowed to go home. They will also be tested; positive cases will be sent to Isolation Centers.”

For his part, National Coordinator for the presidential task force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu asked for increased compliance to relaxed measures: “Please respect and follow all the guidelines we have instituted. If we continue to see violations of these guidelines, we will be pushed to review and possibly change them.

“Our modelling shows that the positive effects of FULL compliance with the Eased lockdown will be very similar to the effect of a full lockdown. This is why we need everyone to fully comply with all the guidelines issued,” he added.

May 7: 3,145 cases, Niger State patients protest

Nigeria’s case statistics as at close of day May 6 stood at 3,145 cases with 532 recoveries and 103 deaths. The latest figure indicates 195 new cases with the top three tallies from Lagos, Kano and Zamfara with 82, 30 and 19 cases respectively.

Meanwhile in the capital of Niger State, Minna; patients at a government treatment facility threatened to discharge themselves citing poor treatment. It is the second state to record such an incident in days coming on the heels of the Gombe State report.

Over in Ekiti State, the government says it will prosecute a man who sneaked into the state despite a lockdown. The violator’s dad refused him entry into the home ordering him to go to the authorities to under self-isolation.

The video of the father – son interaction went viral following which the dad was granted audience by governor Kayode Fayemi. He was subsequently named a COVID-19 ambassador by the governor.

May 6: Ban on flights extended, repatriation starts, cases hit 3,000 mark

The presidential task force on COVID-19 announced a month-long extension on flight ban during its daily briefing on Wednesday. The decision was made on behalf of the federal government under whose auspices it is acting.

Meanwhile the first batch of repatriation involving nationals took place today with an Emirates flight that returned 265 Nigerians to Abuja. The flight had to return to Dubai after take off after a woman who gave birth in board developed complications. She was taken back to Dubai and the plane changed before the trip was made.

According to Head of Nigeria’s diaspora commission Dabiri-Erewa, the Nigerian ambassador in Dubai, and staff of the embassy are in touch with the mother and child who are in good condition.

They will now all go into 14 days of mandatory, supervised isolation in government-selected hotels. This will apply to the thousands of Nigerians expected to return home in the weeks and months ahead. Flights from the UK and US are expected coming Friday and Saturday respectively.

BREAKING: Presidential Task Force announcement just now, on behalf of NigeriaGov: “The Ban on all flights will be extended for an additional 4 weeks.”

— tolu ogunlesi (toluogunlesi) May 6, 2020

Almost 3,000 cases, Gombe patients protest ‘poor care’

By close of day May 5, there were 2950 confirmed cases of CIOVID-19 in Nigeria, 481 discharged and 98 deaths the NCDC reported.

Of the 148 new cases, the breakdown were as follows: 43-Lago, 32-Kano, 14-Zamfara, 10-FCT, 9-Katsina, 7-Taraba, 6-Borno, 6-Ogun, 5-Oyo, 3-Edo, 3-Kaduna, 3-Bauchi, 2-Adamawa, 2-Gombe, 1-Plateau, 1-Sokoto and 1-Kebbi.

The news spotlight was in Gombe on Tuesday where persons in isolation protested against poor health care. They blocked a road as part of their protests as locals stood by looking.

An official explained that they were asymptomatic despite being infected hence required lesser medical attention, he also dismissed the poor feeding claims.

Despite having been persuaded to return to the center, authorities are urging persons who might have come into contact with any of them to self-isolate. Gombe is the fourth most infected state with 98 cases only behind Lagos, Kano, FCT and Borno who occupy the top four slots in that order.

May 5: Cases hit 2,802, Buhari waives medical import tax

By close of day, May 4; case count had reached 2,802 according to the NCDC. The discharged was at 417 with 93 deaths. The figure represented 245 new cases.

A breakdown of which was as follows: Lagos 37-Katsina 32-Jigawa 23-Kano 19-FCT 18-Borno 10-Edo 9-Bauchi 6-Adamawa 5-Oyo 5-Ogun 1-Ekiti 1-Osun 1-Benue 1-Niger 1-Zamfara.

Local media reports that President Buhari has also waived import duty on all medical supplies. The blanket waiver on equipment and supplies is part of government’s “efforts to strengthen health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pndemic.”

Before now, importers had only been granted tax reliefs as announced by the Finance Minister who weeks back said government was liaising with stakeholders in the area.

This is the latest on a list of fiscal policies by the federal government to cushion the industry from the economic impact of the pandemic.

May 4: Relaxation of lockdown starts, Kano deaths explained

The easing of a federal lockdown on Lagos, capital Abuja and Ogun states. The government says the reopening of the economy will span over a six-week period.

The next two weeks will determine whether or not the process will be continued or reversed in Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest economy.

Some key guidelines issued with respect to public places include: Mandatory wearing of face masks, adherence to temperature checks, strict handwashing and use of sanitizers, observance of physical distancing and ban on public gathering.

Passenger flights remain prohibited as are interstate travel, governors last month agreed on the latter. Neighbourhood markets are to open thrice a week between 8 am and 3 pm.

Banks and financial institutions, category of government offices and corporate sector will also operate between 8 am and 2 pm. Schools, places of worship, clubs, bars and gardens are to remain closed.

Meanwhile mysterious deaths in Kano state have been linked to COVID-19 according to the Presidential task Force coordinating the pandemic response. Sani Gwarzo, national coordinator of the task force confirmed the link in an interview with journalists in Kano.

“We have five cogent reasons to say that the mass death recorded in Kano is associated with coronavirus.”

He listed a number of them as the age of the deceased persons, concentration of the people in one place and “test we have constructed which have element of COVID-19,” Sani Gwarzo, national coordinator of the Task Force told journalists in Kano.

He added that the final report would be ready in the next one week or few days, “it is necessary for people of Kano to wake up from their slumber that this is a serious issue.

“We need to know what is happening we are successful in identifying what the problems are and secondly we are happy on the level of cooperation the private sector and other stake holders. Many people have come out to support the state we cannot expand our investigation until we are certain,” he stressed.

With 170 new cases as of close of day May 3, Nigeria’s tally has reached 2,558 with 400 discharged and 87 deaths. Lagos has 1,107 cases with Kano’s 342 and Abuja’s 278 completing the top three. The closest to 100 mark is Gombe in fourth spot with 96 cases.

May 3: Ganduje relaxes Buhari’s lockdown, 2,388 cases so far

Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has announced the relaxing of a federal lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

As of April 27, when Buhari imposed imposed the total lockdown on the state, the principal reasons were to better understand a spate of “strange deaths” and containment of the rise in COVID-19 cases.

But on Saturday, Ganduje announced that there would be free movement in the state between 10am and 4pm on Mondays and Thursdays. He said all the major markets in the state would remain closed, except Ya’nkaba and Ya’nlemo markets where vegetables and fruits are sold.

It is not known whether the decision was in consultation with Abuja but the announcement has drawn the ire of social media users who are accusing the governor of being reckless and endangering the lives of people in the state and beyond.

Kano recorded one of its lowest figures by close of day May 2 with two cases out of the 220 recorded. The state remains second most impacted with 313 cases behind Lagos’ 10,68 and 266 in FCT.

The May 2 tallies stood at 2,388 confirmed cases, 385 discharged and 85 deaths. Kogi State remains the sole uninfected across the federation. Meanwhiles, plans are afoot for a strict implementation of a partial lockdown as announced by Buhari days ago.

“I have decided to put in place gradual easing of lockdown measures,” Buhari id in a much-anticipated television address. “We will implement a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” President Buhari said.

“Inter-state borders will remain closed except for basic necessities (…). We will impose the wearing of masks in public places, as well as social distancing measures,” he added.

These new measures were not to apply to Kano, due to the “mysterious deaths” that are still being autopsied, and rise in cases.

May 2: Nigeria tops tallies in West Africa, 5th on continent

Nigeria with tally of 2170 is the new leader in West Africa overtaking Ghana whose cases count stands at 2074. Nigeria also the second most impacted in sub-Saharan Africa and fifth overall on the continent.

As of close of day May 1, the NCDC reported 238 new cases, one of the highest daily tallies. The bul of the cases coming from Kano State. Kano’s 92 along with Abuja’s 36 and 30 from Lagos completed the top three infected states over a 24-hour period.

The number discharged rose by 32 now at 351 with 10 more deaths bringing the tally to 68. Lagos passed the 1000 infection mark whiles Kano’s stood at 311. Abuja, Gombe and Borno completed the top 5 with 214, 92 and 69 cases respectively.

Africa’s most impacted nations include:

South Africa = 5,951
Egypt = 5,895
Morocco = 4,569
Algeria = 4,154
Nigeria = 2,170

May 1: How Nigeria recorded about 1000 cases in a week

Nigeria as of April 23 was nearing the 1,000 confirmed cases point. Africa’s most populous nation’s tally at the time stood at 981. Roll on the next seven days and the country has seen almost a 1,000 new cases.

As of April 30, 2020; the NCDC record showed 1,932 cases with 58 deaths and 319 discharged patients. The current tally indicates a 951 increase since April 23. A breakdown of the increases over the period is as follows:

  • April 24 = 1,095
  • April 25 = 1,182
  • April 26 = 1,273
  • April 27 = 1,337
  • April 28 = 1,532
  • April 29 = 1,728
  • April 30 = 1,932

Kogi State being the only unaffected state so far. Kano State has meanwhile risen to second with 219 cases behind Lagos’ 976 cases. Nigeria is currently second most impacted in West Africa only second to Ghana, where over 2,000 cases have been recorded.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced Monday evening a gradual easing of confinement measures from 4 May, but will impose a night curfew and the wearing of masks.

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