February 28, 2020

BREAKING: Nigeria confirms first case of Coronavirus in Lagos

By Chioma Obinna

The Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos Ministry of Health have jointly confirmed the first case of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The confirmation was contained in two separate statements signed y Prof Ehanire Osagie, Minister of Health and in another, the commissioner for Health Lagos,  Prof Akin Abayomi, signed for  Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Both statements said the case, which was confirmed Thursday was the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak started in China.

However, while the statement from Lagos State said the case was an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on  February  25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit, the Federal Ministry of Health said the patient lives and does business in Lagos, but was returning from Milan.

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Both statements said, recorded that the patient fell ill on February 26 and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing, 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 statements added.

The statements said: “The Government of Lagos State under the Governor as the COVID-19 Incident Commander, through the Lagos State Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly in collaboration with 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.

“I wish to assure all Lagosians and Nigerians that we have been strengthening our preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China. We will use all the resources made available by the State and the Federal Government to respond to this case.

“We are working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he arrived in Nigeria.

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.”

The statement called on all  Lagos residents to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families following necessary precautions.

The statement said residents should

regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

“Maintain at least one and a 0half metres (5 feet) distance between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

“People coughing persistently or sneezing should stay indoors or keep a social distance, but not mix with a crowd.

“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.

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“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.”

It urged residents to 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.

The statements further warned citizens not to 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 an outbreak in Lagos.