Background: COVID-19 is an emerging public health emergency of international concern. The trajectory of the global spread is worrisome, particularly in heavily populated countries such as Nigeria. The study objective was to assess and compare the pattern of COVID-19 spread in Nigeria and seven other countries during the first 120 days of the outbreak. Methods: Data was extracted from the World Bank’s website. A descriptive analysis was conducted as well as modelling of COVID-19 spread from day one through day 120 in Nigeria and seven other countries. Model fitting was conducted using linear, quadratic, cubic and exponential regression methods (α=0.05). Results: The COVID-19 spread pattern in Nigeria was similar to the patterns in Egypt, Ghana and Cameroun. The daily death distribution in Nigeria was similar to those of six out of the seven countries considered. There was an increasing trend in the daily COVID-19 confirmed cases in Nigeria. During the lockdown, the growth rate in Nigeria was 5.85 (R2=0.728, p< 0.001); however, it was 8.42 (R2=0.625, p< 0.001) after the lockdown was relaxed. The cubic polynomial model (CPM) provided the best fit for predicting COVID-19 cumulative cases across all the countries investigated and there was a clear deviation from the exponential growth model. Using the CPM, the predicted number of cases in Nigeria at 3-month (30 September 2020) was 155,467 (95% CI:151,111-159,824, p< 0.001), all things being equal. Conclusions: Improvement in COVID-19 control measures and strict compliance with the COVID-19 recommended protocols are essential. A contingency plan is needed to provide care for the active cases in case the predicted target is attained.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health