With COVID-19 cases continuing to decline across the country and including in the BAY States (Borno,
Adamawa and Yobe), the major driver of humanitarian needs continues to be the ongoing conflict. Updates on the situation in Damasak Town and Dikwa covering the aftermath of recent NSAG attacks highlight the impact on humanitarian operations caused by the recent escalation in fighting. The security and humanitarian access sections give a more in-depth analysis regarding the extent of security issues and their impact on humanitarian access to affected populations.
With no major new reports published during the reporting period, this analysis relies mainly on regular assessments including those from REACH covering hard-to-reach (H2R) areas, the CCCM tracking report and the usual Health Sector Bulletin, Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) reports and other health updates.
COVID-19 EPIDEMIC OVERVIEW AND VACCINATION PROGRAM
In April 2021, Nigeria recorded 2,126 confirmed new COVID-19 cases, a two-thirds drop compared to the previous month. The total number of tests conducted declined by approximately 26% to 146,189 and the test positivity rate more than halved to 1.5% for the month.
In addition, the first phase vaccine rollout continues and nearly 1.2 million people have received their first dose, accounting for approximately 67% of the target population (which consists of health workers and other front line responders such as members of the security forces).
For the BAY states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) the overall trend is also downwards with 99 new cases recorded in April compared to 385 in the previous month. However while cases are 80% lower in Borno and 96% lower in Adamawa, Yobe has seen a 71% rise in cases in April. The number of tests carried out in the BAY states for April was 5,750 marking a 31% fall from the previous month.
COVID-19 CONTAINMENT MEASURES AND COMMUNICATIONS
In April the government announced phase 4 measures to contain the spread of variant COVID-19 that has been detected in the country. These measures (to be in effect from May 11) cite that bars, nightclubs, event centers, and recreation venues are to remain closed with a nationwide 00:00-04:00 curfew in place. Restrictions remain on gatherings, and government messaging continues to urge the public to follow guidelines including the mandatory use of facemask, physical distancing, avoidance of public gathering and non-essential travel. Restrictions on international travel, screening at points of entry and mandatory testing and quarantine is still in place.
Government information campaigns are also focused on informing people how to register for a vaccination, but there is a worry that misinformation and rumors may deter some from taking the vaccine.
SECURITY AND HUMANITARIAN ACCESS
The operating environment remains extremely volatile for humanitarian actors in northeast Nigeria as increased hostilities and military operations have impacted humanitarian operations and led to waves of mass displacement. Recent NSAG attacks in Damasak and Dikwa led to the suspension of humanitarian operations and evacuation of humanitarian personnel as well as the displacement of many of the towns civilian population. Humanitarian facilities and assets were damaged or destroyed including a UN-Humanitarian Hub, and the specific targeting of humanitarian assets during the Damasak raid is particularly concerning.