Information last updated: May 08, 2020


  • Nationwide curfew remains in a place as the government continues to ease measures.
  • Most of the current cases are concentrated in the state of Lagos and Kano.
  • At the moment, schools and shops are temporarily closed in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun. Borders are closed and gatherings forbidden. 
  • Percentage of cases treated in hospitals: 74%

Response set up and capacity

The government is officially in charge of coordinating the response through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Nigeria’s health system is limited with a low hospital bed to population ratio, but the government has already increased capacity by increasing bed and testing capacities.

The Nigerian Ministry of Health also adopted the Polio Emergency Operations model to tackle the virus through Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in all affected states which are organized in 6 units: management and coordination, epidemiology and surveillance, case management, laboratory services, risk communication, and point of entry. The government organized a surveillance system where a total of 774 Disease Notification and Surveillance Officers are spread across Nigeria working on COVID-19 contact tracing along with community informants for sensibilisation. 

Stakeholder Mapping

Entities / Organizations

• The Ministry of Health has developed an Incident Action Plan with restrictive measures in states where the virus spread.

• President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) provides technology assistance to scale up laboratories’ capacity.

Additional actors

• The European Union financed EUR 1.2 million for the provision of lifesaving preparedness and response activities for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

• UNICEF, with support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO) and in collaboration with the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies of Sokoto and Zamfara, has set up Severe Acute Malnutrition treatment sites in 20 wards - 7 in Sokoto and 13 in Zamfara.

• The UN system in Nigeria launched a One UN Response Plan to COVID-19. It has provided 10,000 test kits, 15 oxygen concentrators, and various personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccines, IEHK/PEP kits, and other vital health supplies. The supplies are co-financed by the European Union (EU) and IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

• WHO has provided numerous testing kits along with technical assistance and virtual staff training assistance.

Mitigating factors - What is being done?

A total lockdown was established in 3 of the 36 States of Nigeria where virus outbreaks are reported: Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State. However, the response to the situation was different amongst the remaining 33 States with some applying restrictive orders such as school closures and imposing gathering bans sooner than others. A nationwide communication strategy has been launched with flyers, official announcements, official websites etc. 

  • March 23The Federal Government of Nigeria issued a ban on all international flights (except for emergency and essential flights).
  • March 30: Imposition of a lockdown of non-essential activities in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States. Including. This includes restrictions on movement, suspension of passenger aircrafts, home confinement mandatory and work from home policy if applicable, physical distancing of 2 meters as well as the closure of schools, universities, bars and places of worship.
  • April 27: Announcement of gradual ease of lockdown but following measures still in place:
      • Mandatory use of face-masks in public spaces
      • Latex hand gloves are prohibited 
      • Mandatory provision of hand-washing facilities/sanitizers and extensive temperature checks in all public spaces
      • Restrictions on interstates travels and services
      • Prohibition of gatherings of more than 20 persons outside of a workplace
      • Prohibition of gatherings of more than 20 persons at a funeral and social distancing must be practiced
      • Controlled access to markets and locations of economic activities
      • Physical distancing of 2 meters between people in workplaces and other public spaces
  • May 4: The easing of a federal lockdown on Lagos, capital Abuja and Ogun states. The reopening of the economy, says the government, will span over a six-week period. The President Buhari has waives import duty on all medical supplies. 
  • May 6: Ban on flights is extended one month. People on isolation in Gombe protested against poor health care by blocking a road.
  • May 8: It is announced that “All Nigerians returning from abroad will undergo mandatory supervised quarantine in selected hotels for 14 days, before they will be allowed to go home”. Nigeria consolidates its spot as one of the countries most hardly impacted by the pandemic in the region.

In the most populated country of Africa, the restrictive orders are visibly impossible to maintain, and crowds are easily formed in the local markets in urban areas. 

Risks, vulnerabilities, obstacles

Potential actions and demands


Key resources

Contributor(s): Imaine Kachi.

The C-19 Global South Observatory is a collaboration between