COVID-19 cases in Nigeria rise to 305

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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.
Abandoned street in Lagos, Nigeria
REUTERS PHOTO

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria has risen to 305 after 17 more people tested positive for the virus, the Disease Control Center said late Friday.

The 17 new cases included eight from Lagos, three from Katsina, two from Abuja, one from Niger, one from Kaduna, one from Anambra, and one from Ondo, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said in an update.

Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country with 163 cases.

The center added that 58 patients had recovered from COVID-19 with seven deaths recorded so far.

Most of the cases reported were from travellers who have just returned to the country. Other cases were from people who have come in contact with infected people.

Meanwhile, the NCDC said that they currently have 17 rapid response teams supporting states in the response to COVID-19.

Through its responses to COVID-19, the center said it is working hard to change the narrative in Africa.

The NCDC added that it remains in full support of the healthcare workers, who are critical in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

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.

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