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Awka Times Tracking: Number of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Nigeria and Africa

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As the incidence of coronavirus infection in Nigeria and Africa builds up, Awka Times has launched a reporting initiative to track the development. We have built mapping and charting constructs to report the cases. Hopefully this will help to inform our readers, and probably aid their decision-making about movement.

We care for our readers and the general public, and we wish everyone well in these trying times and beyond.

By Chudi Okoye

Covid-19 Pandemic: Global Trends

The global incidence of coronavirus as of June 18, 2020 stood at 8.58m total confirmed cases and over 456,000 deaths, following the addition of over 140,000 new cases and over 5,000 new deaths day-over-day. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a dire statement on Friday, June 19, warning that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, with 81 nations witnessing a growth in new cases over the past two weeks.

Global list topper, the United States of America, surpassed 2.26m confirmed cases (+27,924 new) and over 120,000 deaths (+747 new), with many states racking up record new infections after easing their stay-at-home orders meant to slow the spread of the virus. Brazil and Russia remained 2nd and 3rd ranked in total confirmed cases, each adding a hefty new number of cases day-over-day – +23,050 and +7,790 respectively. Other hotspots also added substantial new cases, including India (+13,827), Pakistan (+5,358), Mexico (+4,930), Saudi Arabia (+4,757) and Chile (+4,475), among others. Overall, globally there are slightly declining trends in the number of new cases and deaths.

Africa is also notching up new cases at a fast clip, adding about 8,017 new cases on June 18. South Africa, the continental list topper, alone recorded over 3,478 (over 43%) of the new cases in Africa. Nigeria remained in the third position in the African ranking of confirmed cases. The Top 5 in Africa – including South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and Ghana – made up 63.6% of cases and 67.5% of all coronavirus-related deaths as of June 18.

Covid-19 in Nigeria: Current Status

Nigeria recorded its highest new addition of coronavirus cases ever on June 18, 2020. It added a whopping 745 new cases, bringing its cumulative total to 18,480, a 4.2% day-over-day increase. The new cases maintained the spate of recent surge occurring even as federal and state governments in Nigeria, unable to provide adequate welfare support to the stricken populations, have begun to push, at varying paces, a relaxation of lockdown and other social restriction measures imposed to minimize coronavirus contagion.

Daily new cases in Nigeria in recent time have remained consistently in the triple-digit range, with 65% of total confirmed cases recorded in the last 30 days.

Click to enlarge map (Awka Times)

The cumulative number of cases in the short period since relaxations began in Nigeria is much higher than the volume in the pre-relaxation stretch. In the 14 reported instances between February 27 when Nigeria announced its first coronavirus case to the eve of the lockdown imposition on March 28, a total of 97 coronavirus cases were recorded, representing 0.5% of the country’s cumulative total to date and averaging seven per day.

In the 36 days from March 29 to May 3 when full federal lockdown was in place in the targeted areas, there were 2,460 cases, representing 13.3% of the cumulative total and averaging 68 cases a day.

In the 46 days since May 4 when the federal government announced a partial relaxation of lockdown, Nigeria has recorded some 15,923 cases, representing 86.2% of the cumulative total and averaging 346 per day.

In other words, according to Awka Times analysis, in the 46-day period since the relaxation of lockdown, Nigeria recorded 6.2x the number of coronavirus cases that it did in the entire 50-day period preceding lockdown relaxation.

Click to enlarge map (Awka Times)

The latest additions came from newly reported cases in the following 20 states: Lagos (280), Oyo (103), Ebonyi (72), Imo (46), Edo (34), Delta (33), Rivers (25), Kaduna (23), Ondo (16), Katsina (12), Kano (10), Bauchi (8), Borno (7), Kwara (5), Gombe (4), Sokoto (2), Enugu (2), Yobe (1), Osun (1), Nasarawa (1), as well as Abuja FCT (60).

The coincidence of the recent surge with the unwinding of lockdown suggests a potential correlation. Awka Times analysis returns a 0.7753 correlation coefficient at the 0.01 level (99% confidence interval), indicating a statistically significant correlation. But the spike might have arisen from other factors as well. For instance, there has been a notable increase in the volume of tests conducted in Nigeria (though it is still low by global and even African standard). From a smattering of tests conducted earlier, test cases across in the country stood at 106,006 as of June 18, 2020, with positive cases recorded in 35 of Nigeria’s 36 states and the federal capital territory, Abuja.

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Regional and Geopolitical Story

Recent trends in Nigeria have seen a sustained reversal in the fortunes of the regional enclaves, with a serious resurgence in the South. As of June 18, the South had a higher share of all confirmed cases (66%), a higher share of active cases (77%), a lower share of discharged cases (48%), a higher share of new cases (82%), and now even a higher percentage of coronavirus-related deaths (52%).

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Among the northern geopolitical zones, the North West leads with 14.6% of the national tally, with 6.3% of the national total in Kano State. All the seven states in this zone have confirmed cases of the virus.

Abuja FCT had been another heavily impacted northern territory. The territory had started to trend down after the initial surges but the incidence rate appears to have to increased in recent time. Abuja constituted 7.9% of the total confirmed cases in Nigeria, while the North Central zone within which Abuja is located had in total about 11.3% of the national tally, with cases also reported in all the states in that zone.

Meanwhile, the North East zone has recorded about 7.9% of the national record, with all six states in this zone now reporting.

In the South, Lagos remains the epicentre of coronavirus infection though there was a recent drop. The state alone represents about 42.7% of the total cases in the country. With Lagos, the South West geopolitical zone’s share of cases stood at 51% of the national total. All states in the zone have reported cases of the virus.

The South South zone, with five of its six states reporting confirmed cases, has also seen a spike in recent time despite the aggressive containment efforts of the likes of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike. The South South share of the national total rose to 10.9%, even with Cross River still not reporting any cases.

The South East zone – where all states have now reported – has also seen a dramatic increase to 4.2% as of June 18. Although its overall count is relatively low (the lowest in the South East), Anambra State government recently closed down the main market in the state capital, Awka, apparently due to non-compliance with containment guidelines.

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

The number of discharged cases in Nigeria as a whole increased from 5,967 to 6,307, up 5.7% day-over-day; while the number of fatalities increased from 469 to 475, up 1.3%.

With the latest update in confirmed Covid-19 cases, Nigeria had a mixed record relative to the rest of the world. Fatality rate in Nigeria, as of June 18, stood at 2.6% compared to 5.3% worldwide. Nigeria however had a higher rate of day-over-day increase in confirmed cases than the global rate, standing at 4.2% vs. 2.1% worldwide. Nigeria’s ratio of recovered cases was 34.1%, vs. 52.6% globally.

As of this reporting, Nigeria’s share of global coronavirus cases was 0.22%, and its share of global coronavirus fatalities was 0.1%.

Covid-19 in Africa: Current Status

Africa’s share of coronavirus cases remains low but the continent has seen a ramp-up in recent time. As of June 18, there were 278,664 confirmed cases in Africa, up 3% day-over-day. There were 7,449 deaths, up 2.8% day-over-day.

The Africa chart shows a long-tailed skew. Of the 54 African countries, South Africa remained in the lead with 30.1% of total confirmed cases and 23.3% of deaths. Egypt followed with 18.1% of cases and 26% of total African coronavirus deaths.

With its 18,480 cases, Nigeria represented 6.6% of cases in Africa, and 6.4% of fatalities. Interestingly Ghana, which is Nigeria’s statistical nearest neighbor with its 12,929 cases (4.6% share of the Africa total), had only 0.9% of the continent’s death toll. Nigeria’s fatality rate (percent of infected persons who died) was 2.6% compared to Ghana’s 0.5%.

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

As of this reporting, Africa’s share of global coronavirus confirmed cases had inched up to 3.3%, and its share of global coronavirus fatalities was 1.6%.

Click to enlarge map (Awka Times)

Click to enlarge map (Awka Times)


Africa is slowly increasing its volume of tests, although it is still at 2.9% of the global test volume (the continent represents 17.3% of the world’s population). Currently we have reported test data for 43 African countries. The Awka Times’ Pareto model shows that 79.2% of tests in the continent had so far been conducted by the first decile of countries. Nigeria stood near the bottom of the Africa top 10 in the overall test volume ranking. Nigeria’s ranking is even less striking in terms of tests per 1m population. On this score, Nigeria ranks 36th out of the 43 reporting countries.

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Click to enlarge chart (Awka Times)

Data Sources

PS: Awka Times reporting is based on the official data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as well as global tracking data from Worldometers (see its country breakdown here and its breakdown by continent), Wikipedia, Johns Hopkins University and Carnegie Mellon University.

There is valid concern about the comprehensiveness of the Covid-19 data from the NCDC. At present, there are very few coronavirus testing centres in Nigeria, with what there is located mainly in the South West and Abuja – unsurprisingly the areas with the highest reported incidences of the disease. The absence of testing facilities in territories currently with the lowest apparent exposure suggests that NCDC data might be incomplete, probably even exiguous.

But even in advanced countries like the United States, testing remains a challenge, leading to doubts about official data. There is insistent claim by medical professionals and commentators that initial testing failures and gradual ramp-up drove the US to its current position atop the global league table of coronavirus cases.

You go to war with the army you have. To avoid unprofessional speculation, Awka Times will stick with official data, from Nigerian and global sources.

NCDC Contact Nos

Toll Free Number: 0800 9700 0010

WhatsApp: +234708 711 0839

SMS Number: +234809 955 5577


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