A survey carried out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) suggests that 23 percent of the Lagos population had COVID-19 before the second wave began in December.
Nigeria currently has 153,187 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,874 deaths, with Lagos the epicentre with 54,882 cases.
The state’s current population, according to the World Population Review, is 14,862,111.
With over 200 million people, the country began recording over a thousand cases daily, and that indicated that it was in the second wave of the pandemic.
The study conducted in four states, Lagos, Enugu, Gombe, and Nasarawa, suggested that the infection rate was higher than recorded between September and October last year.
According to the findings, the prevalence of antibodies was 23 percent in Lagos and Enugu, 19 percent in Nasarawa, and nine percent in Gombe state.
“Blood samples were collected from over 10,000 individuals residing in a representative sample of households in the four states. The blood samples were then tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies applying locally validated laboratory tests. Individuals who provided blood samples also answered a brief questionnaire that enabled the study team to characterise factors related to positivity and identify which population groups were most affected,” NCDC and NIMR said.
These infection rates, according to them, are higher than those reported through the national surveillance system “and reveal that the spread of infection in the states surveyed is wider than is obvious from surveillance activities.”
NCDC and NIMR added, “This is not surprising for COVID-19, given that a majority of those infected do not have any symptoms.”
The survey results showed higher rates of infection among males than females (for example, 10 percent vs seven percent in Gombe and 21 percent vs 17 percent in Nasarawa).
The survey team noted that the observations were in tandem with what had been reported by the NCDC based on the national surveillance system.
Days ago, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the country’s health ministry said the vaccines might arrive by the end of February.
“We are told that by the end of this month, which is about 10 days from now, we shall get the vaccines,” the health minister Osagie Ehanire said.
“We do not produce the vaccines. They are manufactured abroad in about four or five countries.”
Mr. Ehanire explained that the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China that had succeeded in producing the vaccines were now giving licences to other countries to reproduce them.