Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, as at end of June 2020 was Africa’s third most impacted country only behind South Africa and Egypt.
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.
The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, led by SGFBoss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries. At the heart of the response is the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC.
This article is dedicated to covering events from the country throughout the month of July.
July 19: 37,225 cases; international flight update
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika on Tuesday denied reports of October date for resumption of international flights. “International Flight resumption date is not October,” he said in a tweet.
He added that the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, only issued routine 90 day Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). Which notice had been misconstrued to be a resumption date by some media.
“In liaison with Health, Foreign Affairs and PTF COVID-19, we will announce the agreed date, regardless of the ban by Europe, UAE etc. May be earlier than October,” his tweet further clarified.
Nigerians have been asking when international flights will resume to and from the country. Staggered restart of local flights resumed on July 8 with full reopening of all airports achieved in middle of the month.
The NCDC also announced five new molecular laboratories which brought the total number of labs to 58 across 30 states. The only states without labs are: Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe States.
- Confirmed cases = 37,225
- Active cases = 21,091
- Recoveries = 15,333
- Number of deaths = 801.
July 19: 36,107 cases; Foreign Affairs Minister infected
Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama confirmed today that he had tested positive for the virus, becoming the latest top politician to be infected.
He disclosed via Twitter that his positive result came from his fourth test since the virus entered the country. He said he was going into isolation in a health facility.
“Did my fourth Covid-19 test yesterday at the first sign of a throat irritation and unfortunately this time it came back positive. That is life! Win some lose some. Heading for isolation in a health facility and praying for the best,” his tweet read.
The Minister had been a key part of the PTF attending most of its meetings and giving key updates especially in the area of evacuation of nationals from across the world. He had also been holding engagements with diplomats and other envoys at his office in Abuja.
Local airline Azman Airline also reported that it was evacuating national stranded in Saudi Arabia. The airline said 117 passengers were on board the flight expected to arrive in Abuja in the early hours of Monday.
- Confirmed cases = 36,107
- Active cases = 20,391
- Recoveries = 14,938
- Number of deaths = 778.