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Lockdown Saved Nigeria From 5.8M More COVID-19 Infections — Research

Coronavirus Nigeria

Coronavirus Nigeria

A team of international public health researchers have come out to say that the lockdown and restrictions imposed in Nigeria between March and May 2020 may have averted not less than 5.8 million infections in the country.

The group recently revealed this in a statement made available to the press, and Nigerians have been reacting.

According to the researchers, their findings support the use of restricted mobility as a measure for infection control in Nigeria, and the noticeable spikes in people’s movement that occurred mostly on Saturdays and Sundays were caused by social events even during the lockdown and restrictions.

The research findings, published by the highly reputable public health journal JAMA Network Open, are based on information from confirmed COVID-19 cases provided by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, from February 27 to July 21, 2020, and Nigeria specific mobility data from Google in the same period.

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Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.

Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses. The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.

Human coronaviruses were first discovered in the late 1960s. The earliest ones discovered were an infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two in human patients with the common cold (later named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43). Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV) in 2019. Most of these have involved serious respiratory tract infections.

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