Business and Economy

COVID-19 Delta variant wreaks havoc in Nigeria as Shehu Shagari’s widow dies of the complications

Nigeria is confronting a rise of new COVID-19 cases blamed on the delta variant first detected in the country in early July.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the country has more than doubled over the past two weeks, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Nigeria on Wednesday recorded 790 cases of coronavirus cases, the highest within the last six months, raising the total number of cases to 179,908 since 2020.

Covid-19 fatalities now stand at 2,195. While case numbers remain low compared to some countries, there is mounting alarm. In recent days, extra vaccines have been arriving into the country, including over four million doses of the Moderna vaccine, supplied by the US.

Amid the recent surge in cases, the government has drawn criticism for the time it’s taking to relaunch the stalled mass vaccination campaign. However, health officials argue they have been actively planning the rollout.

Dr. Doris John, who is the Lead Epidemiologist in the Federal Capital Territory, said the resumption of vaccinations would be “based on the population and the target population.” She did admit however that the “actual challenge” of the rollout was residents “accepting” vaccines.

Another problem that Nigeria is facing is its mobile testing system. They can be found in some places, though they are few and far between. As a result of this, Nigeria’s testing rates remain low.

As the havoc rises, the news was broken today that the widow of former Nigeria’s President Shehu Shagari has died from COVID-19 complications. This was confirmed in a statement by the family revealing that Hajiya Hadiza Shehu Shagari died at a hospital in Abuja in the wee hours of Thursday.

“We regret to announce the demise of our beloved mother, Hajiya Hadiza Shehu Shagari, the wife of H.E late President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR (Turakin Sokoto),” One of her children Muhammad Bala Shagari in a statement.

The statement further revealed that the former first lady will be buried on Thursday evening. She was aged 80-year-old when she died. Her family said she died at a COVID-19 isolation centre in Abuja.

“We lost her in the early hours of today, 12th August 2021, at about 3:00 am, after battling Covid-19 at the Gwagwalada Isolation Center in Abuja,” the statement read.

The husband, the former President Shehu Shagari, was the first democratically elected Nigeria’s President in 1979.

By Rédaction Africanews with AP

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