There is palpable fear among Nigerians as the reality of the ongoing escalation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic comes home with the announcement of the first death in since the index case was confirmed on February 27.
The death comes as son of former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has tested positive to the pandemic.
Nigeria already has a total of 36 COVID-19 cases, with 33 of them active, two have been discharged and one death recorded.
The reality of the infections and death is changing the way Nigerians behave as most of the public places area abandoned, offices deserted and roads empty in most areas as people stay indoors.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said in Tweet on Monday morning that the death involved a 67-year-old male who returned from the United Kingdom. He is the former Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Suleiman Achumugu. He died at 2am on March 22.
According to the NCDC, “the 1st #COVID19 death in Nigeria has been recorded. The case was a 67-year old male who returned home following medical treatment in UK. He had underlying medical conditions- multiple myeloma & diabetes & was undergoing chemotherapy. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Vice President Abubakar confirmed the news of his son’s predicament personally via his Twitter handle @atiku, urging Nigerians to remember his Son in prayers.
The PDP chieftain said his son has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital, in the outskirts of Abuja, for treatment.
Atiku tweeted: “My son has tested positive to Coronavirus. @NCDCGov has been duly informed, and he has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment and management. I will appreciate it if you have him in your prayers. Stay safe, coronavirus is real. -AA”
Earlier in the day, Atiku had tweeted praising our health workers for their efforts in containing the virus.
“I join millions of other Nigerians to celebrate our health workers for their courageous work at this challenging time, and I urge all Nigerians to remain strong while we fight the scourge of this #COVIDー19 to the end,” the tweet reads.