On 28 January 2020, the Federal government of Nigeria assured Nigerians of its readiness to strengthen surveillance at five international airports in the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It announced the airports as Enugu, Lagos, Rivers, Kano, and Abuja. On that same day, The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also announced that they had already set up a coronavirus group and was ready to activate its incident system if any case emerged in Nigeria.
On 31 January 2020, following the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan China and other countries worldwide, the federal government of Nigeria set up a Coronavirus Preparedness Group to reduce and eventually hamper the impact of the virus if it eventually spreads to the country. On that same day, the World Health Organization listed Nigeria among other 13 African countries identified as high-risk for the spread of the virus.
Below is the timeline of the spread of the disease in Nigeria:
On 26 February 2020, a Chinese citizen presented himself to the Lagos State government on suspicion of being infected with the coronavirus. He was admitted at Reddington Hospital but was released the following day after being tested negative.
On 27 February, the first case in Nigeria was confirmed in Lagos state. An Italian citizen who works in Nigeria had returned on 25 February from Milan, Italy through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. He fell ill on 26 February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
On 9 March, the second case was confirmed, a Nigerian citizen in Ewekoro, Ogun State who had contact with the Italian citizen. President Muhammadu Buhari established a Presidential Task Force for the control of the virus in the country.
On 10 March, Turkish Airlines canceled all their flights to Nigeria due to the virus outbreak
On 13 March, Nigeria confirmed that the second case tested negative as he no longer had the virus in his system.
On 17 March, the third case was confirmed in Lagos State. A 30-year-old Nigerian female citizen that had returned on 13 March from the United Kingdom.
On 18 March, five new cases of the virus were confirmed in Nigeria. Four of the new cases were discovered in Lagos State, while one was discovered in Ekiti State.
On 18 March, the management of the National Youth Service Corps suspended the 2020 Batch A stream one 21 days orientation exercise indefinitely. The orientation exercise commenced on 10 March and was expected to end on 30 March, before it was suspended after just 8 days. Later the same day, Nigeria placed a travel ban on 13 countries with high cases of the virus, the countries are; United States, United Kingdom, SouthKorea, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, China, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Japan, and Iran.
On 19 March, four (4) new cases of the virus were confirmed in Lagos State. The government also announced that the Italian citizen who brought coronavirus to Nigeria has tested negative and he was discharged the following day.
On 21 March, Ten (10) new cases: seven (7) in Lagos State, three (3) in Abuja.
On 22 March, eight (8) new cases were confirmed. Six (6) in Lagos State, one (1) in Oyo State, and one (1) in Abuja.
On 23 March, Ten (10) new cases were confirmed. Six (6) in Lagos State, three (3) in Abuja and one (1) in Edo State. The first death was also confirmed, a 67-year-old Suleiman Achimugu, an engineer and former managing director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, who returned from the United Kingdom with underlying health conditions.
On 24 March, four new cases were also confirmed: One (1) in Lagos State, one (1) in Ogun State, one (1) in Bauchi State, and one in Abuja.
On 25 March, seven new cases were confirmed. Three (1) in Lagos State, one (1) in Osun State, one (1) in Rivers State, and two (2) in Abuja.
On 26 March, fourteen new cases were confirmed. Twelve (12) in Lagos State, one (1) in Bauchi State and one (1) in Abuja. The government also announced that they were tracing 4,370 suspected cases of the virus.
On 27 March, sixteen new cases were confirmed: eight (8) in Lagos State, three (3) in Abuja, two (2) in Enugu State, two (2) in Oyo State, and one (1) in Edo State. On the same day, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that the local governments with the highest number of cases are Eti-Osa and Ikeja.
On 28 March, sixteen new cases were confirmed. Seven (7) in Lagos State, four (4) in Oyo State, two (2) in Abuja, one (1) in Osun State, one (1) in Kaduna State, and one (1) in Benue State.
On 29 March, sixteen new cases were confirmed: Nine (9) in Lagos State, and five (5) in Abuja.
On 30 March, twenty new cases were confirmed: Thirteen (13) in Lagos State, four (4) in Abuja, two (2) in Kaduna State and one (1) in Oyo State. Five (5) new persons were discharged with one new death. The suspected cases that Nigeria was tracing also rose to 6,000.
On 1 April, thirty-five new cases were confirmed: Nine (9) in Osun State, nine (9) in Lagos State, seven (7) in Abuja, five (5) in Akwa Ibom State, two(2) in Edo State, one (1)in Ekiti State, one (1)in Kaduna State and one (1) in Bauchi State.
On 2 April, ten new cases were confirmed: Seven (7) in Lagos State and three (3) in Abuja.
On 3 April, six (6) new cases were confirmed in Osun State.
Bringing all to a total of One Hundred and Ninety (190) virus cases, two (2) Deaths, and Eighteen (18) people recovered from the Coronavirus.
By: Nneoma Chinaka