By Urowayino Jeremiah

The Lagos government says it has placed hotels and resort centres in the state on surveillance as part of its measures to prevent coronavirus.

Akin Abayomi, commissioner of health, disclosed this while dismissing the rumour that some Chinese, who recently returned to Alimosho local government area of the state from their country, have severe symptoms of coronavirus disease.

Abayomi said investigations revealed that there are no Chinese residing or conducting any business in Osoba close of Gowon Estate where people speculated that the incident occurred.

He said the surveillance team set up by the ministry of health also interrogated the chairman of Gemade Estate known to have affiliation with Chinese expatriates but discovered that the Chinese who had worked in his factory at Igbesa, Agbara, Ogun state, had returned to China in 2019 when their work permit expired.

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“There are no suspected or confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Lagos State contrary to fake news being circulated in the media,” Abayomi said.

“In a bid to further investigate the rumour, the surveillance team of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Alimosho community stakeholders were in Gowon Estate and its environs – the alleged scene of the suspected cases, on February 9, 2019.

“The team interrogated residents living in and around Osoba Street in Alaguntan Ward, Segun Majekodunmi Street and other randomly selected houses in Alimosho but there were no Chinese nationals residing or carrying on business in and around any of the streets and communities visited.

“The team expanded its search to hotels around Alimosho and Gowon Estate where a Taiwanese lady was identified to have visited one of the hotels but nothing concrete linking her to China was found, ” he said.

“Three Egyptian nationals, who were sighted buying drugs at a particular pharmacy were also interrogated but were found to be businessmen who had no link whatsoever with China.

“The State surveillance team has scaled up its search by placing hotels and other resort centres on active surveillance to closely monitor visitors, travellers and non-nationals especially those of East Asian and Chinese origin.”

The commissioner added that phone numbers of Alimosho LGA disease surveillance notification officer were given to relevant stakeholders in the area in case they come in contact or have knowledge of any Chinese national living around the area or anyone arriving from China into the state.

On Monday, the death toll from the virus exceeded 1000.  The number of infections in mainland China reached almost 42,300, bringing the total number across the world to more than 42,700, with one death each reported in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Coronavirus has been confirmed in Singapore, UK, Malaysia, Taiwan, Spain, Vietnam, Germany, UAE, France, Japan, with the World Health Organisation declaring a global emergency.

Other countries where cases of the disease have been reported are Thailand, Canada, Australia, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Cambodia, and the United States.



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