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Nigeria coronavirus summary: cases, deaths, news - April 21

A Rapid Respond Squad officer mans a checkpoint in Lagos.

Coronavirus live Nigeria: latest Covid-19 news - Tuesday 21 April

Nigeria coronavirus update at 22:00 WAT on Tuesday 21 April (23:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,546,527 cases have been detected worldwide, with 175,812 deaths and 678,557 people now recovered.

In Nigeria, there have been 665 cases, with 22 deaths and 188 people recovering from the virus.

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Nigeria to release prisoners awaiting trial

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the chief judge to free prison inmates who have been awaiting trial for six years or more to ease overcrowding as the novel coronavirus spreads, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

A statement quoted Buhari as saying 42% of Nigeria's 74,000 or so prisoners were awaiting trial. He urged Chief Judge Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to reduce that number "since physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible".

Buhari said inmates with no confirmed criminal cases against them, elderly prisoners and those who were terminally ill could be discharged.

"Most of these custodial centres are presently housing inmates beyond their capacities and the overcrowded facilities pose a potent threat to the health of the inmates and the public in general in view of the present circumstances, hence the need for urgent steps to bring the situation under control," he said.

Two weeks ago, Buhari pardoned 2,600 prisoners who were either 60 or older, terminally ill, or had less than six months left to serve of sentences of three years or more.



Gombe State to order lockdown

Nigeria Newsdesk reports that Gombe will become the latest Nigerian state to order a lockdown after the first reported cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Tuesday.  

Governors grounded by Minister of Aviation

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has revealed that he has denied five governors flight approval, since the closure of the airports and the lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari to curb the Covid-19 outbreak, the Daily Post reports

According to Sirika, three out of the four governors are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Two of the governors are from the South-east, two from South-south, while one was from North-central.

Sirika disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, at the daily press briefing by members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

Nigerian student stranded in Senegal

(Reuters) After Senegal ordered universities to shut over the coronavirus outbreak, Ousmane Issaka, a student from Niger, found himself having to sleep on the pavement outside his shuttered dormitory in Dakar, with packed suitcases at his side but nowhere to go.

Though he had displayed no COVID-19 symptoms, Issaka, 24, was concerned about inadvertently taking the virus back to his home village of Bengou and had decided to stay put following the March 14 order.

Most of his 80,000 fellow students at Cheikh Anta Diop University had crammed themselves onto buses or rushed to Dakar airport before flights were suspended and borders closed. Issaka said he and a few fellow veterinarian students from Niger spent two nights sleeping rough on foam mattresses laid on the cracked tarmac in the eerily silent street outside his dormitory.

"We had to spend a lot of time on the beds, suffering as we waited," he said, alluding to the discomfort and uncertainty. The university then learned of their plight and put them up in off-campus housing left empty by the exodus. 

The university could not be reached for comment on how many foreign students it is housing during the shutdown, but at least 20% of its student body come from abroad. Regional freedom of movement allows many West Africans to work or study in nearby countries.

Senegal has so far confirmed 412 coronavirus cases and five deaths since the first case was registered on March 2. Niger has reported 655 confirmed cases and 20 deaths since the first case was registered there on March 20.


Issaka's group of around 15 Nigerien students have tried to isolate themselves, while maintaining as normal a life as possible. They keep up with their studies online, play soccer and send regular updates to anxious family members.

"All they ask about is the disease," Issaka said in his new shared dorm room, which was cluttered with half-unpacked bags and a prayer mat laid neatly to one side. "We try to make them understand that we're really okay."

Issaka is resigned to waiting out the epidemic far from home, but misses the buzz of student life. The nearby campus is deserted. Clothes-lines under dormitory windows, normally heavy with students' washing, sway empty in the breeze.

After completing his studies, he plans to return to Niger to set up a fish farm in the countryside where his family has worked as fishermen for generations. "All we want to hear one day is that we've reached the end of this pandemic," he said.

Nigeria Newsdesk has released a list of notable Africans who have died from Covid-19, which includes Abba Kyari, Jacob Plange-Rhule and Benedict Somi Vilakazi...

Further updates on Nigeria's new cases today from Lagos' official ministry of health.

Nine more people have recovered in Lagos, which recorded no new cases of coronavirus on Monday...

Worldwide cases surpass 2.5 million

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide has surpassed 2.5 million. The grim landmark was reached following warnings from the WHO president, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that "the worst is yet ahead of us".

"This virus is dangerous. It exploits cracks between us when we have differences," he said.  "Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us," 

“Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand. Easing restrictions is not the end of the epidemic in any country".

Film Director Niyi Akinmoloyan has been part of a team that has created a 90-second animation aimed at explaining coronavirus and lockdown to kids in Nigeria...

Fear is growing in Kano after over 150 persons died under the space of three days, causing undertakers and grave diggers in the city to express deep concerns...

EU donates €1.2m to Nigeria coronavirus fight

The EU has provided a further 1.2 million euros to Nigeria to support its fight against coronavirus. 

“With these critical funds from the EU, the UN as a whole in Nigeria is in a better position to do the important work of engaging with communities on how they can prevent the spread of this virus," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

“It will also complement the government’s efforts to ensure that healthcare workers can continue the critical work they are already doing to test and treat cases in the country."

Airport closure extended for two weeks 

The Nigerian government has announced the extension of the closure of all airports in the country by two weeks, as part of measures to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“As a result of the extension on lockdown by Mr President, it is no longer possible for us to open our airspace and airports for normal operations by the 23rd April 2020," said Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

“They will remain closed for a further two weeks. This is subject to review as appropriate.”

Prof Akin Abayomi gives the latest update on the situation in Lagos, which confirmed no new cases on Monday...

Nigeria's 36 state governors will convene another teleconference meeting on Wednesday to discuss measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic...

Nigeria’s inflation increases to 12.26%

Nigeria’s annual inflation in March rose for a seventh straight month, the statistics office said on Tuesday, as border closures continued to push prices higher.

Inflation rose to 12.26% year on year, up from 12.20% in February and the highest since April 2018, when it stood at 12.48%.

Food inflation grew to 14.98% year on year, up from 14.90% in February, the figures showed. Full story.

Eat healthily, clean well

More advice from the World Health Organisation.

French flight ban - correction

The previously reported story about France suspending flights appears to have been a misinterpretation of the minister’s comments.

Rather than it being a new policy, the transport and environment minister Elisabeth Borne was explaining the situation that already exists.

Recovery of 90%

“Nine out 10 will recover, so what is the fear about. Only that the numbers are so large that we forget that people recover and few get very sick, that is just about four or five out of 100.”

This was the message from Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, as he responded to questions at the daily briefing. Read more.

Airports to remain closed

Another two weeks for the Nigerian airports to remain closed, a trend that is continuing around the globe until the pandemic is under control.

Never enough reminders

The NCDC continue their regular reminders as they look to stop the spread.

France bans flights

All incoming flights to France from outside the Schengan zone have been suspended as they continue their fight against the spread of Covid-19. This, therefore, includes one of their nearest neighbours, the UK.

Africa sees Apple expansion

Apple Inc has said it would expand its App Store, Apple Music and other services to dozens of new markets in Africa, the Middle East and beyond in the biggest geographical expansion of its services in almost a decade, report Reuters.

Apple said it would expand the App Store to 20 countries, eight of them in Africa, and will offer its streaming Apple Music service in 52 additional countries and regions. The expansion is the largest since Apple grew what was then called the iTunes Store to India, Russia and more than 50 other countries in 2012.

Apple has focused on growing sales from its services segment, which totaled 17.8% of its $260.1 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, as consumers have slowed in upgrading their smart phones.

Nigerian courts to hold virtual proceedings

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that judges “will be sitting and maintaining social distance while lawyers would be interfacing with the courts through their digital devices.”

Full story

Singer slammed for Covod comments

The singer Zlatan Ibile has been condemned for making a joke of the pandemic, after NCDC released the latest report on coronavirus in the country.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel”

Babajide Sanwo-Olu has praised Ecobank Nigeria's efforts to help people affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

Nigeria coronavirus update at 06:30 WAT on Tuesday 21 April (07:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,478,153 cases have been detected worldwide, with 170,368 deaths and 651,503 people now recovered.

In Nigeria, there have been 665 cases, with 22 deaths and 188 people recovering from the virus.

Nigeria coronavirus update at 02:30 WAT on Tuesday 21 April (03:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,473,209 cases have been detected worldwide, with 170,042 deaths and 646,012 people now recovered.

In Nigeria, there have been 665 cases, with 22 deaths and 188 people recovering from the virus.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic


Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Nigeria's worst-affected age group

People aged between 31 and 40 have been those most hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, it has been revealed.

Lagos lockdown

The state authorities in Lagos, where a lockdown was ordered and later extended, have said that it may be compulsory to wear face masks in public to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

NCDC coronavirus update

According to the NCDC, there have been 38 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Nigeria. 

Nigeria coronavirus update at 00:30 WAT on Tuesday 21 April (01:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,470,410 cases have been detected worldwide, with 169,794 deaths and 645,099 people now recovered.

In Nigeria, there have been 627 cases, with 21 deaths and 170 people recovering from the virus.

Covid-19 live blog: Nigeria

Hello and welcome to our live daily coverage of the news that surrounds the coronavirus pandemic with a special focus on Nigeria.

Throughout the day we will aim to keep you up to date with all the latest developments from Africa related to the Covid-19 crisis that has devastated many countries.


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