Nigeria’s first Corona virus case recorded, Italian carrier ‘stable’
NEWSMAN, Lagos – Health authorities in Nigeria on Friday announced the country’s first case of Corona virus after a visiting Italian businessman got diagnosed and was isolated for treatment but is ‘stable’, officials said.
“The Ministry of Health in Lagos State has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and reported it to the Federal Ministry of Health. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020,” Lagos health authorities said.
The COVID-19 patient was detected in the commercial city of Lagos and is the first case recorded in sub-Saharan Africa so ce the disease broke out in China in January.
“The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of Feburary from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transfered to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing,” Akin Abayomi, Lagos health commissioner said in a statement early Friday.
Abayomi, a Professor of Medicine, said the COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” the Nigerian health official said.
Health authorities in the West African country have been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in major cities like Lagos or elsewhere is controlled and contained quickly through the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures,” Lagos city authorities said.
Officials announced that they were “working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he arrived in Nigeria” for diagnosis and isolation, if the need arises.
“Everywhere is vulnerable to Coronavirus. Nigeria is even more prepared than some countries. We are doing our best. There is no change in what we are doing to contain a possible outbreak of Coronavirus in the country,” Health minister, Dr. Emmanuel Ehanire had said in a previous media briefing.
“The Chinese have given us clinical criteria. We suspect and address anything that looks like Coronavirus because the cost of testing is very high.” The Nigerian health minister concluded.
Lagos health authorities later sent out the public health information below:
Please, be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only a mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses. All Lagosians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below:
1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between you apnd anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. People coughing persistently or sneezing should stay indoors or keep a social distance, but not mix with a crowd.
4. Ensure that you and people around you follow good respiratory hygiene by covering mouths and noses with a handkerchief or tissue while sneezing or coughing. You can also sneeze or cough into your sleeve at the bent elbow.Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
5. Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.
6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, the Social Media, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.
Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Lagos State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Lagos.