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No, Nigeria’s Covid cases did not jump 45% in first nine days of April 2022

A report in the Nation, a national newspaper in Nigeria, has claimed that Covid-19 cases in the country increased 45% from 1 to 9 April 2022.

The 11 April article cited data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and said new cases increased from 182 to 265 in the period. 

The NCDC is responsible for Nigeria’s response to infectious diseases.

The country in early April lifted several restrictions meant to contain the pandemic, and such a rise could cause fears that they would be reinstated.

Are these numbers correct?

‘Newspaper headline wrong’ says NCDC

On 12 April Ifedayo Adetifa, the NCDC director-general, told journalists the news reports were inaccurate. 

At a media briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Adetifa said: “May I use this opportunity to correct the wrongful headlines that made the rounds on Monday. There was a report of a 45% increase in case numbers for the period of April 1 to 9 and the basis of that report was using absolute numbers.”

“In the preceding week, there were 182 cases and it went up to 265 by April 9. Using raw numbers without denominators is wrong. When you say 182, 182 of how many? The denominator was not taken into account.”

He said the NCDC had not seen a “45% increase in cases” but that the test positivity rate was 0.2% in the previous two weeks counted. 

Data does not support newspaper’s percentage

The disease control centre publishes Covid-19 data on its official Twitter account three times a week, and daily updates on its website.

The number of new infections recorded on 31 March and 1 April were published on 2 April. According to the data, 53 new Covid cases were recorded, not the 182 cases reported by the Nation newspaper.

The number of cases recorded in the preceding week, from 26 March to 1 April, was 172.

From 2 to 11 April, the total number of cases recorded was 165, not the 265 cases reported by the news organisation.

Nigeria’s number of Covid cases did not increase by 45% – it reduced from 172 to 165.

As of 19 April 2022, Nigeria had conducted 5,036,813 tests for Covid, with 255,633 confirmed cases and 3,142 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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