The first case of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Lagos. The Minister of Health, Osagie Enahire, announced this early Friday morning.
The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy, on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
The government says the patient is in clinically stable condition, with no serious symptoms and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
Also speaking on the development, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, on behalf of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement, also confirmed the case, and noted that the State Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
According to the statement, the Italian, whose name was not made public, entered Nigeria for a brief business visit, but fell ill the next day, 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”, Prof Akinyemi notes.
The statement further read in part: “The Government of Lagos State under the Governor as the COVID-19 Incident Commander, through the 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:
1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. People coughing persistently or sneezing should stay indoors or keep a social distance, but not mix with a crowd.
4. 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.
5. Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing”.
He also urged citizens not to abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic.
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