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How Deadly is Coronavirus in Nigeria?

by Samuel Akpa

It is no more news that Coronavirus is deadly in Nigeria as the increase in death toll due to Coronavirus has left many questioning the severity of the disease. The on going pandemic is ravaging countries of the world, halting economies and putting a strain on healthcare systems. There is a growing need to determine the case fatality rate of covid-19.

Case fatality rate (CFR) is a measure of how deadly a disease is. It is the number of people who die from a specified disease among all individuals confirmed to have the disease over a certain period of time. It is usually expressed in percentage and it tells us how severe or deadly a disease is. To determine how deadly Coronavirus is, we need to determine it case fatality rate. There are concerns however about the inaccuracy of current data available. Public health experts believe the total number of infections due to covid-19 is underestimated because people with few or mild symptoms may never see a doctor.

However, working with the available data as at 28th of April, with 3,148,709 confirmed cases and 218,371 deaths, the worldwide CFR of Coronavirus is 6.9%. This is means, for every 100 person infected with Covid-19, approximately 7 persons died. As it stands, there is a wide disparity between the CFR of different countries. While some are below the world CFR, others are way above it. The CFR for the US, Spain and Italy is 5.7%, 10.3% and 13.6% respectively. This could be as a result of different healthcare response to infected patients, under reporting of confirmed and death cases, insufficient testing, limited knowledge about the diseases in some parts of the world, among many other reasons.

In Nigeria, with 1,532 confirmed cases and 44 deaths, the CFR of Coronavirus is 2.9%. This means, for every 100 persons infected with the disease, approximately 3 persons died. This is figure is way below the world’s CFR and it shows that the severity of coronavirus in Nigeria is low compared to other countries. However, the figures may be misleading when you put into consideration the possibility of under reporting of confirmed case and deaths due to Coronavirus, limited testing and diagnosis and illiteracy of the pandemic.

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