Dismisses media report
By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna
Contrary to a media report on an alleged suspected case of the coronavirus in a hospital in Lekki area of Lagos, facts yesterday emerged that the person just arrived from China and needed to be monitored as part of the response mechanisms in the State.
In the report, it was claimed that a suspected case of a patient with the Coronavirus had been quarantined at a hospital in Lekki, Lagos.
But when contacted, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi dismissed the report, describing it as fake news.
Giving an update on the suspected Coronavirus case in Lagos on Saturday 1/02/2020 on his twitter handle @ProfAkinAbayomi, the Commissioner for Health wrote:
“The attention of @followlasg and @LSMOH has been drawn to a story of a query suspected case of #2019nCoV infection which presented at a particular private hospital in Lekki on 29/01/2020.
“The subject in question is an adult male Nigerian who arrived from China 4 days ago. He was in Shanghai throughout his stay in China and during his stay, he did not have any contact with anyone who was ill or from Wuhan region.
“On his return to Lagos he has followed our instructions from @LSMOH and like a responsible member of the society has chosen to self-quarantine. He presented to a hospital for a check-up just to be sure but was found to be perfectly well and asked to return home to continue his self-quarantine. He is therefore clinically not a suspected case of #2019-nCoV as he is not exhibiting any symptoms.
“As of 2:38 pm today when I called the epidemiology officers of @LSMOH and the doctor that attended to him at the hospital in Lekki, he remains in perfect health with no symptoms of #nCoV2019.
“Nevertheless @LSMOH will continue to monitor his welfare till the end of his self-quarantine period. As of now, there is no suspected or confirmed case of #nCoV2019 in Lagos.
“I urge you all to be vigilant and call +234 802 316 9485 for any suspected case of infections,” he concluded.
Update on suspected’ Corona virus case in Lagos today 1/02/2020
The attention of @followlasg and @LSMOH has been drawn to a story of a query suspected case of #2019nCoV infection which presented at a particular private hospital in Lekki on 29/01/2020 @jidesanwoolu @LNCtoday
— Prof. Akin Abayomi (@ProfAkinAbayomi) February 1, 2020
It would be recalled that the Federal government had stated emphatically that anyone just back from China or any endemic region should observe self-quarantine for 14 days.
Vanguard gathered that a meeting held on Friday (31/01/2020) between the Ministry of Health and the Medical Guild which is the body of doctors under the employ of the Lagos State government, to discuss what the Lagos State had put in place as preparedness for the coronavirus and Lassa fever.
As part of the resolutions, an Emergency Operation Centre has been set up at Mainland Hospital in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
According to a summary of the recommendations, two isolation wards have been prepared at Mainland Hospital with a capacity for further extension through the use of tents which are available.
Also, the Lagos State level 3 biobank lab located in Mainland Hospital is ready for diagnosis of Lassa Fever and should also be equipped to diagnose coronavirus within the next week.
In a situation of an overwhelming number of cases, “six general hospitals have been designated for possible management as tents will be set up”. They include Isolo, Ikorodu, Gbagada, Alimosho, Epe and Badagry General Hospitals and the Medical Directors are aware.
Further, discussions have been held with the Medical Directors of General Hospitals to ensure the provision of “Protocols” for management of Lassa fever. They are expected to cascade them down to all levels in the hospital. The protocols also include guidelines on the transportation of patients (through Lasambus) and numbers to call.
Doctors and other health care staff are expected to cascade suspected cases appropriately in the hospital and avoid rushing to social media to avoid causing unnecessary panic.
There has also been meeting with the Medical Officers of Health to ensure proper information dissemination at a community level and also ensure surveillance and triage.
Meetings have been held with the Chinese embassy to ensure 14-day quarantine of Chinese nationals returning to the country. Currently, it’s not compulsory, but their dormitories are being visited to constantly monitor.
Advisory has also been posted on the Chinese embassy website.
All heads of institutions are mandated to ensure the provision of personal protective equipment as appropriate for different levels of care. The provision of gloves, soap, running water, hand sanitizers, face masks, gowns, thermometers are to be ensured and members are to demand and use them.
There is also an effort by the Ministry of Health to stockpile needed supplies( such as fluids, ribavirin, test kits etc) in case of an increase in a number of cases of Lassa Fever or any case of coronavirus.
A multiagency task force has been set up and will include representatives of various ministries and groups including Medical Guild the Association of General and Private Medicine Practitioners of Nigeria, AGPMPN.
Regular updates will be provided as necessary even as eternal vigilance and a high index of suspicion are key.