Coronavirus Outbreak in Nigeria: Burden and Socio-Medical Response During the First 100 Days

Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 22;S1201-9712(20)30502-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.067. Online ahead of print.


Background: The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic shocked the world, overwhelming the health systems of even high-income countries. Expectedly, the situation has elicited social and medical responses from the public and governments respectively. Nigeria recorded an imported case from Italy on February 27, 2020. Hence, this paper assesses the early socio-medical response to COVID-19 in Nigeria within the first 100 days after the index case. The paper employs analytical methods and collates data from various media reports and official sources.

Findings: The incidence of COVID-19 grows steadily in Nigeria, moving from an imported case and elitist pattern to community transmission. The case fatality stood at 2.8%. The country recorded an upsurge (52% of total cases) in the transmission of COVID-19 during the short period the lockdown was relaxed. The paper presents a concise response framework to highlight some specific multisectoral responses to the pandemic. A combination of social and medical responses help Nigeria to curtail the spread of the virus to a large extent.

Conclusion: The potential of overwhelming COVID-19 is still imminent in Nigeria as the country is attempting to hurriedly open the economy, which could sacrifice public health gains for temporary economic gains.

Keywords: COVID-19; Nigeria; community transmission; imported case; multisectoral response.