Says 35 people at large is worrisome

Coronavirus: Why we can’t release index case now — Abayomi
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi

By Gabriel Olawale

The Lagos State government on Wednesday said although the Coronavirus index case is stable, he cannot be released until he stops secreting the virus even as it expressed worry that the 35 unreachable passengers on board the Turkish airline could a potential threat to the containment efforts.

Giving updates on the outbreak in Lagos, the State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi also explained that as long as he is still excreting the virus, he is dangerous to the community.

He said: “The index case is doing fine. We started a new treatment on him two days ago which he is responding to. He is comfortable; he is lonely because he is the only one in the isolation room of 14 beds.

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“We test him every day to ascertain whether evidence of virus still exists. The moment we stop seeing the traces of the virus, we will wait for extra three days just to make sure everything is alright because sometimes we may think the virus is cleared and there may be a recurrence. So we have to be very careful. So he will remain with us.”

Continuing,  Abayomi said that the three people that exhibited symptoms tested negative to the virus.

“The gentleman from Ethiopia Airlines, the Chinese man and a lady from Ewekoro all tested negative.”

Continuing, Abayomi said that the inability to trace the 35 passengers due to the provision of wrong details have continued to be a major source of worry to the state government as the untraceable passengers are likely to pose a great risk to the general public.

Abayomi who frowned at what he described as ‘reckless and irresponsible attitude’ assured that the government won’t relent until all of the passengers are identified.

” Thirty-five passengers were unreachable due to wrong data they provided at the port. The phone number, contact address, next of kin among others were all fake.

“This is worrisome to us but we are trying everything possible to trace them. We are in touch with immigration in case they want to renew their visa. We also have what we called an emergency operation centre where we meet every day at Yaba.

“This emergency team is made up of people from different agencies that work tirelessly to ensure that we have our entire basis covered, from supply to case management, to epidemiology, surveillance. This current situation falls under surveillance and we are trying everything possible to find these missing people.”

“You may not know that you have contact with coronavirus patient because most people on that flight did not know. The sooner we find you the better for you and for everybody else. So its civic responsibility to fill your information correctly.

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“If you develop the symptom we can treat it early, and at the same time minimize your exposure to other people. One person now who has filled wrong information but develops the virus may be the source of an outbreak in Lagos. So it’s not a joke, it’s a serious matter.

Abayomi said that the Lagos State government has deployed 60 healthcare personnel to support the federal health officials at the port, “to us, deployment of 60 staff to the port is huge manpower and we hope that it will strengthen our preventive measure.

“The index case is doing fine. We started a new treatment on him two days ago which he is responding to. He is comfortable, he is lonely because he is the only one in the isolation room of 14 beds.”


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