COVID-19: As doctors’ strike enters 3rd week, Nigeria records 541 new cases Sunday
The NCDC update on Sunday shows that there was no recorded COVID-19 fatality across Nigeria within the last 24 hours.
On Sunday, 541 persons across 12 Nigerian states and the country’s capital, Abuja, tested positive for coronavirus disease.
In an update on its Facebook page Sunday night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the new cases, which is slightly lower than the 665 reported a day earlier, raised the total infections in the country to 182,503.
The latest update from the NCDC came as the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has continued to paralyse critical activities in tertiary hospitals across the country.
Resident doctors, who are in training to become consultants, are pivotal to frontline healthcare in Nigeria as they constitute a larger share of physicians in Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals.
Following unresolved issues with the Nigerian government that include delayed payment of salaries and allowances, the NARD, on Monday, August 2, resumed the strike it suspended nearly four months ago.
Meanwhile, with 541 infections reported on Sunday, Nigeria has recorded 7,613 cases within two weeks since the strike commenced on August 2.
The figure is higher than the 6,290 cases recorded in the four weeks from July 1 to 31.
Meanwhile, the active COVID-19 cases in the country have also exceeded 13,000 amidst the rising cases of cholera outbreak across 22 states and the federal capital territory, FCT.
Overwhelmed, many public hospitals are beginning to turn patients away as consultants stretch themselves to fill the vacuum created by their young colleagues’ strike.
COVID-19 deaths increase
The NCDC update on Sunday showed there was no recorded COVID-19 fatality across Nigeria within the last 24 hours.
But deaths have significantly increased since the doctors downed tools, with 68 fatalities recorded in the past two weeks, according to a review of NCDC data.
The figure is more than double of the 31 deaths the disease agency registered in the whole of July.
Public health experts believe that the rise in infections and the manpower shortages across health facilities, which has been worsened by the doctors’ strike, must have accounted for the increased coronavirus-related fatalities.
The country has so far recorded a total of 2,219 deaths from the pandemic since the first fatality from the disease was recorded in March, 2020.
The nation’s commercial centre and coronavirus epicentre on Sunday reported 242 cases to remain on top of the country’s daily infection toll.
Akwa-Ibom State followed, with 94 cases, while Enugu and Oyo states recorded 48 infections each.
Anambra State came fifth on the NCDC log with 34 cases while Rivers State registered 19 and Ogun State reported 17.
Ekiti State reported 15 cases and the FCT recorded nine. Abia State recorded five while Delta State reported two, with Niger State left at the bottom of the table with just one infection.
Meanwhile, more than two-third of infected persons in the country have recovered after treatment, the disease centre disclosed in its update.
Out of the over 182,000 total cases, NCDC said 167,132 have recovered and are declared fit by health officials across the country’s 36 states and the FCT.
Having exhausted the nearly four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX in the first vaccination phase, Nigeria, on Monday, is set to officially flag off the second phase of inoculations at the federal medical centre (FMC), Jabi, in the federal capital territory, FCT.
So far, 3,938,945 eligible persons across 36 states and FCT, have been vaccinated.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said a total 2,534,205 people have been vaccinated for the first dose and 1,404,205 have received their second dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government on Thursday took delivery of 177,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, a week after receiving a little over four million doses of Moderna vaccines from the U.S. government.