President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said Nigeria defied global predictions of negative socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the country’s resilience in handling the pandemic.
Mr. Buhari in his broadcast to mark the 62nd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence said that the commitment and passion displayed in handling the pandemic contributed to the success recorded.
“As you know, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic due to our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic,” he said. .
He also said that the country’s health facilities have improved a lot, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was an improvement that, he said, drew praise from the global community.
Saturday’s broadcast is the last Buhari will deliver as Nigeria’s president and the country is expected to elect a new president in February.
There were various predictions that the COVID-19 pandemic will wreak havoc on the African continent compared to other parts of the world.
In early 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that almost 250 billion Africans would have contracted the virus by the end of the year, with between 150,000 and 190,000 deaths.
But as of November 3, the total infection on the continent was 1,784,083, less than one percent of Africa’s one billion population. At that time, some 42,000 people had died.
Although Nigeria appears to have moved at a snail’s pace in its initial response to the pandemic, it has not been severely affected compared to European and American countries. This is despite having advanced medical facilities and health experts that are not available in the African region.
A study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases explained the reason for the lower prevalence of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the United States, Europe and Asia.
The study findings show that there is a higher prevalence of cross-reactive antibodies against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) in blood samples collected from sub-Saharan African populations.
“The level of antibodies is likely due to previous exposure of Africans to other human coronaviruses,” according to a report by news-medical.net.
An antibody is a protective protein produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, called an antigen. Antibodies recognize and attach to antigens to remove them from the body.
Some three years after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Nigeria, 265,382 cases have been recorded so far. Of that total, 3,155 people died while 3,846 continue to receive treatment, according to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (CNDC).