Nigeria says total COVID-19 cases at 254; 6 dead

Market near Surulere in Lagos, Nigeria (6°31' N, 3°22' E). Lagos has not been the capital of Nigeria since 1976. The country’s seat of government is now Abuja, a new city sited in an area where none of Nigeria’s three principal ethnicities is dominant; it is also free of the legendary traffic jams of Lagos. However, the former capital remains the country’s largest city, second only to Cairo in all of Africa. Officially it houses 9 million inhabitants, but some experts estimate the actual population to be 12 to 15 million. Like all large and rapidly growing urban centers, Lagos is overwhelmed by demographic expansion. The population influx aggravates traffic problems whose monstrous tie-ups Nigerians soberly refer as “Go slows.” Wherever vehicles come to a halt, young people appear out of nowhere hawking small everyday goods: cakes, drinks, Q-tips. Disparities in income are glaring in this city, where having your own car is an overt sign of success. Countless buses and collective taxis, known as molue and danfo, cruise the city. Inhabitants of Lagos use them to go to work or to market. Since 2008, the authorities have been trying to cope with traffic problems by instituting a system of fast lanes reserved for buses.
Market near Surulere in Lagos, Nigeria. (Getty Images)

The death toll from COVID-19 has risen to six in Nigeria, as the number of confirmed cases reached 254, the country’s disease control center has said.

A total of 44 patients have recovered from COVID-19, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said at its daily briefing.

Nigeria has closed its airports, border crossings, mosques, and educational institutions, banning mass gatherings and movements among cities, and imposing a partial lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun.