The total number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria is projected to reach 3,680 by June 1, 2020.
This projection was made by the Civic Media Lab using a polynomial interpolation based on historical data of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
According to the CML, if the increase in persons infected continues to rise without immediate action taken, this could see the number shoot up to as high as 3,680 cases in the next five weeks.
Nigeria has so far recorded 1,273 cases with 239 persons discharged and 40 deaths.
Doing a simple trend analysis of the daily number of cases since the index case for the whole country on a day-by-day basis as adopted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, with this steady progression Nigeria will have nothing less than 3,680 cases by June 1.
However, Civic Media Lab fears that the numbers could be much higher because of the new trend of community transmission, reports of new outbreaks in Kano State, continued inter-state travel and other poor decisions by citizens to defy government directives on social distancing.
All these factors will keep steepening the curve and eventually cause Nigeria to have a much higher number of cases.
If the country could have 3,680 cases, it means on a state by state basis, the numbers will continue to rise.
Presently, 32 out of the 36 states in the country plus the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have declared cases of Coronavirus, which means there is a steady transmission going on despite lockdown measures in the most affected states.
As at April 26, Lagos has recorded 731 cases of COVID-19.
The figure rose astronomically in the last three days despite an ongoing presidential lockdown order.
After three weeks of lockdown, the progression of numbers in Lagos is still alarming.
This means, either there is a yet to be identified community transmission chain or the increase in the number of tests in the state is proving to be effective in showing that there are more people with the virus even before the lockdown.
However, residents of the state have begun to flout the order and informal workers have resumed their daily jobs as means of sustaining livelihood.
Corruption has crept into the distribution of palliatives and relief materials by government with residents deliberately disregarding the lockdown to avoid being killed by ‘hunger virus’.
This has led to the high cases of community transmission, which saw the state moved from 306 to 657 in the space of one week.
This figure is expected to continue to rise if government does not enforce the strict compliance of the stay-at-home order and also ensure the house-to-house distribution of relief material.
This week, there is also an increasing number of health workers contracting the virus in the state, this is a new trend.
Using the same polynomial progression, it is projected that the number of cases in Lagos by June 1, 2020 will be 1,776.
Abuja has witnessed a slow progression in confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
Although not with the same population size as Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria as at today with 138 infections.
Just like in Lagos, residents of Abuja are also flouting the lockdown order and have not been taking safety precautions when they go out to public places.
Abuja would likely have more cases with the current figures due to the limited testing being done by the NCDC.
Abuja is yet to introduce community testing nor drive-through test centres.
Using the progression of numbers, Abuja, which currently has 141 cases, is projected to have 308 by the June 1.
With a recent surge in the number of cases in Kano, it is a state to be looked at, as up until this moment not much has been done in providing adequate testing or isolation centres in the state.
Kano has 77 cases at the moment with the figures expected to rise as the NCDC has made provision for massive testing.
Testing of samples has stopped in Kano State. This is because of health workers being infected and available testing kits have also been exhausted.
Coupled with reports that suspected cases are fleeing from authorities to avoid isolation and treatment, this could trigger an upsurge in the cases of infections in Kano State.
Putting together these current factors, the CML projected that Kano would have at least 480 cases by June 1.
The CML stated while the federal and state governments are making efforts to contain the further spread of the virus, the government would need to prepare more isolation centres in readiness.
While this would help isolate a large number of people that may be infected, it would also reduce infected persons, who visit private hospitals for treatment.
The CML advised that Lagos should make available more isolation centres to admit more cases.
Lagos currently has the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formally Onikan Stadium with 110 bed space, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba with 120 bed space, Gbagada General Hospital also with 120 bed space and the Landmark Centre with a total of 90 bed space (including 10 ICU), added to the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba with 100 bed capacity.
The isolation centres in the state can only accommodate about 540 persons, with this projection, the state would need isolation centres that can quarantine additional 1,000 cases.
Kano, projected to overtake the FCT, currently has 240-bed space capacity isolation centres in the state.
They are the Amana Hospital on Miller Road, Bompai, with 60 bed spaces, the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, Giginy, with 100 bed spaces, and the Kwanar Dawaki Diagnosis Centre with 80 bed spaces (including 10 ICU).
The state is being advised to double the current capacity of the isolation centres as more cases would be recorded in the coming weeks.
With a projected 308 cases, the FCT seems to be adequately prepared as it currently has the capacity to adequately isolate more than 800 people should it become necessary.
The Asokoro Hospital has 500 capacity while the Idu Isolation Centre can house up to 300 people, added to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Zuba, the FCT seems to be able to fare better than other states.
The Civic Media Lab further stated that the projection was not intended to create panic or unnecessary upheaval, it was just to demand that relevant authorities start to allay the fears of Nigerians by increasing the capacity of the health system to address the inevitable surge in number of cases.
“What we have done is simple forecasting based on historical data. This is purely results based on a linear trend using least squares method which makes the result very conservative.
“The truth is that the eventual numbers will be higher because there's no evidence on ground that the people are adopting new behaviours that limit the transmission of Coronavirus,” said Director of Civic Media Lab, Oluwaseun Akinfolarin.
“We need to know where this trend is going and how do we mitigate against that outcome,” Akinfolarin added.