A second wave of COVID-19 appears to have hit Nigeria as the country on Wednesday recorded its highest daily number of cases with 930 new infections.
The country reached the new height in infections just five days after recording its previous highest daily figures of 796.
Until the resurgence of the infections in December, Nigeria never had a higher number of daily infections than the 745 reported on June 19.
The country’s total fatalities to the disease remains 1,200 as no new death was reported on Wednesday.
For about two weeks, daily cases in the country averaged 500 for the first time since the pandemic reached Nigeria in late February. The total number of infections in the country has now increased to 75,062.
The rising numbers put the nation on the precipice of what could be its worst stretch to date in the pandemic with the spread in infections still concentrated in the country’s two hardest hit cities – Abuja and Lagos.
But despite the spike, millions of citizens believe the nation had seen the worst of the coronavirus, hence they lowered their guards with the authorities also lax in enforcing control measures.
A majority of about 50 Nigerians engaged online by PREMIUM TIMES for their opinions on a second wave of the virus believe the worst was over, hence the safety protocols are more or less, a mere protocol.
As a consequence of the resurgence, hospitalisation is increasing with hundreds of new COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals in the past few days.
Active cases in the country rose from about 3,000 to over 5,000 due to rise in new infections.
Of the over 75,000 infections recorded in Nigeria, 66,775 patients have been discharged from hospitals after treatment.
This is according to an update Wednesday night by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The 930 new cases were reported from 22 states. They are Lagos (279), FCT (179), Plateau (62), Kaduna (54), Kano (52), Katsina (52), Imo (42), Jigawa (42), Rivers (38), Kwara (30), Nasarawa (19), Yobe (15), Ogun (13), Borno (10), Oyo (9), Niger (9), Ebonyi (6), Bauchi (6), Edo (5), Taraba (4), Sokoto (2) and Cross River (2).
Again, Lagos and Abuja, led with 279 and 179 new cases respectively on Wednesday.
Bracing for a second wave, the Nigerian government has ordered the reopening of all isolation and treatment centres in the country.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has also made a “passionate appeal” to Nigerians to take the COVID-19 prevention advisories very seriously, especially during the Yuletide festivities.
This, the doctors said, is necessary to interrupt the transmission, reduce ill-health and deaths from the dreaded disease as “we await” the certification of a vaccine for global usage.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has also advised Nigerians to suspend their Christmas and New Year travels to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Nigeria has so far tested over 850,000 of its 200 million population for the virus.
Akwa Ibom PDP Chairman, Udo Ekpenyong, Dies
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Udo Ekpenyong, is dead.
Mr Ekpenyong died on Monday in Uyo, an official of the Akwa Ibom government who did not want his name mentioned, told PREMIUM TIMES, Tuesday morning.
The official said the chairman died of COVID-19.
Late Mr Ekpenyong, before his election as the state PDP chairman last year was the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state. He was known to be a strong ally of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Akwa Ibom State lost two other prominent figures recently, a former Chief of Air Staff, Nsikak Edouk who died of renal failure, and a former military governor of the state, Idongesit Nkanga who died of COVID-19.
Lagos Police Hail Igboelerin Youths for Resisting Robbery Attack
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has commended youths of Igboelerin community for their bravery in resisting an arms robbery attack and recovering dangerous weapons in the bargain.
According to a statement signed by the command’s PPRO, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the criminals invaded the community at about 11:30pm on Sunday, but were dislodged by the daring youths.
“On 17th January 2021, at about 11.30pm, the youths of Igboelerin community in Lagos State resisted a robbery attack on the community when they dislodged some suspected armed robbers that wanted to rob the community.
“The suspected armed robbers came on 2 unregistered bikes with the intention of attacking their targets before they were repelled by the youths who have been involved in the community policing strategies of the command. One unregistered operational bike and one locally made pistol with a life cartridge were recovered from them.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, while commending the youths of the area, has ordered for the manhunt and arrest of the fleeing armed robbers. He encouraged Lagosians to embrace the idea of community-based policing which has paid off in many areas of the state,” the statement read.
Policeman Prostrates, Begs After Threatening Panel Member in Ogun
There was disquiet at the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation Against Police Brutality when a policeman, Sergeant Adeleke Olalekan, allegedly threatened members of the panel.
The panel, which sat at the Magistrate Court 1, Isabo, Abeokuta, on Monday, was cross-examining the Officer in-Charge of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, CSP Gbenga Megbope.
Olalekan had accompanied his boss, Megbope, who was a respondent in a case of brutality against some people in the state.
Olalekan was, however, allegedly caught pointing at the panel members in a manner suggestive of threats.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, called him out and booked him for punishment as stipulated under the commission of inquiry law.
While reading out the law against the policeman’s action, the chairman said, “Any act of disrespect, insult or threat to the commissioners or any panel members while sitting in commission or any act of disrespect, insult or threat to a commissioner or panel members at any other time or place on account of his proceedings in his capacity as a commissioner or panel member shall be deemed to be an act of contempt within the meaning of this law under Section 16 of the same law.”
Olugbemi noted that the sergeant ought to be recommended for trial at a magistrate’s court.
But Olalekan, while being questioned, prostrated and pleaded for forgiveness.
The panel pardoned him, while the chairman warned against disrespect for the panel.