By: Nestor B. Udoh, MPH, FMCPH.

As at the 10th of January 2021, Nigeria had recorded a total of 100,087 cases of the novel coronavirus infection from all parts of the country.

For the corresponding period, there were 1,358 deaths attributed to the disease. If you divide this number by the number of deaths, and multiply the result by 100, you get approximately 1.4%.

In public health, this is called the case fatality rate. Case fatality rate for any disease is the number of people dying of affliction from a particular disease in a period. It indicates the killing power of the particular disease.

Compare this with the case fatality rate for Ebola which is more than 90%, or rabies which is nearly 100%.

When we calculated the case fatality rate for coronavirus in Nigeria at the begining of the pandemic, we had a figure of 2.23%. For the same period, Italy had a case fatality rate of more than 10%.

What all this means is that though the pandemic has spiked in Nigeria, the case fatality rate for the disease has decreased.

This may be as a result of better understanding of the disease and better case management by our health experts.

From all these, the conclusion is that total lock down of the economy of the country is unnecessary, if the current preventive measures are intensified. Selective lockdown may however be implemented in communities where the cases are found to cluster.

The author is a medical doctor and Consultant Public Health Physician.

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