How Nigeria recorded 454,988 deaths in national epidemic

The seriousness of Nigerian leaders to contain the spread of the ravaging coronavirus in the country like any other epidemic emanating from the international community determines how many deaths are recorded or how many lives are saved through precautionary measures. This is particularly so when the deadly virus has no cure in the immediate.

Records show that Nigeria recorded 454,988 deaths during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, identified as the worst infectious outbreak the Earth has ever encountered. Nigeria was said to have suffered huge casualty due to negligence or inaction of the leaders then when the country’s total population was 17,690,936.

In the 1918 Spanish flu, the south with total population of 9,075,560 recorded 255,663 deaths; while the north with a total population of 8,615,376 recorded 199,325 deaths.

Like the current coronavirus pandemic, the 1918 pandemic began from Lagos; but the state recorded 3,000 deaths. The South-South and South East —Calabar, Ogoja and Owerri provinces were identified to be heavily hit. Rivers State was part of the Owerri Province then.

Statistics shows that the death toll vis-à-vis the population of the respective entities in the south was as follows:

Lagos Township with population of 82,000 had 1200 deaths; Lagos Colony with population of 148,000 recorded 2,877 deaths; Abeokuta with population of 328,000 recorded 3,283 deaths; Benin Province had 15,700 deaths from 388,000; Calabar Province with population of 1,182,500 recorded 35,175 deaths; Ogoja had 62,832 deaths from 923,360 population; Onob 316,300 with 9,490 deaths; Onitsha with population of 1,970,000 recorded 39,510 deaths; Owerri Province had 41,181 deaths from 1,372, 700 population; Oyo 1,550,000 population and 29,750 deaths and Warri had 14,663 deaths from 614,400 population.

In the north, Bauchi with population of 949,461 recorded 17,102 deaths; Bornu 731,149 population had 10,000 deaths; Ilorin had 28,884 deaths from 527,922 population; Kano 57,978 deaths from 2,749,727 population; Kontagora 169,485 population and 3,580 deaths; Munshi recorded 6,695 deaths from 569,944 population; Muri had 222,258 population but recorded 6,003 deaths; Nasarawa had population of 266,248 with 10,442 deaths; Nupe 266,548 population with 10,684 deaths; Sokoto had population of 1,516,326 and recorded 30,000 deaths; Yola had 11,181 deaths from a population of 259,056; and Zaria had 327,242 population and recorded 6,776 deaths.

In the ravaging COVID-19, 51 confirmed cases have been recorded in Nigeria with one death in Abuja.

Breakdown of the 51 confirmed cases, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), shows that 48 cases are active while 2 cases have been discharged and 1 death recorded.

Lagos is still having the highest number of confirmed cases but no death has been recorded. The state government has also taken firm actions to contain the spread of coronavirus, providing functional isolated treatment Centres.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, announced total shutdown of the state, closing all seaports, airport and land borders in the state. Some other states mere ordered public servants to be working from home in the meantime.