Nigeria records first Coronavirus case as Italian tests positive

Sanwo Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

Nigeria has recorded the first case of the deadly coronavirus, which broke out in China in January, 2020.

It was confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Lagos State, which reported it to the Federal Ministry of Health.

The case was confirmed on Thursday, the 27th of February 2020.

A statement by the Commissioner of Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, early hours of Friday, informed the case involved

“an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy, for a brief business visit.”

The Italian was said to have fallen ill on February 26 and transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.

The case, the commissioner added, was confirmed as COVID-19 infection by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

According to Abayomi: “The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

READ: Chinese, suspected with Coronavirus at Reddington Hospital, tests negative

“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.

“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.”

The precautions as listed by Abayomi are

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
  • Maintain at least 1 & half 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.
  • Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
  • 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.

He also urged Lagosians not to abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic, assuring that relevant agencies have been mobilised.

The statement added: “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.”

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