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Lagos declares index case negative, suspends Easter edition of Eko farmers’ market


Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi

• Assembly tasks Sanwo-Olu on prevention of spread
• Govt urges residents to practice social distancing as LASU postpones convocation

The Lagos State government yesterday declared that the first index case of coronavirus recorded in Nigeria has tested negative. Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi said the Italian who had been receiving treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital, had tested negative after series of tests were conducted on him.

“It is good news for Lagos and Nigeria for the index case to test negative, but he will not be allowed to go yet until a confirmatory test had been carried out within 48 hours and if he tested negative the second time, he will be discharged,” he said.

The Italian tested negative for coronavirus on Thursday, February 27, 2020 having arrived the country on February 25, 2020 from Milan, Italy on a business trip.


Also, the second case, who was infected by the Italian, tested negative few days after he was quarantined. Abayomi said all the new cases were responding to treatment at the IDH in Yaba, Lagos.

Besides, the state government has suspended the Easter edition of its Eko-City Farmers’ Market earlier slated for March 29, 2020 due to coronavirus.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, explained that the suspension was part of measures the state government has adopted to halt the spread of the virus.

He said the suspension would be reviewed as the spread of the COVID-19 was being controlled and halted, adding that government prioritised the health and welfare of those organising the Eko-City Farmers’ Market and participants.

Relatedly, the state House of Assembly has enjoined Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to create more awareness on the dreaded coronavirus with a view to preventing its spread in the state.

Raising the matter yesterday at plenary, Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa stated that it would be difficult to determine the number of people that have been infected by the virus in the state, adding that government should do more on enlightenment to prevent its spread.

“We should not run away from those who have the virus or wish them dead. The state government has taken positive steps on the matter by banning religious gatherings and ordering closure of public and private schools in the state,” he stated.

However, Abayomi urged residents to reduce all forms of public and social gatherings as part of preventive measure to curtail the spread of coronavirus disease in the state.


He gave the charge, while giving an update on COVID-19 and admonished the people to observe and practice ‘Social Distancing,’ which is a public health strategy to check the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, management of the Lagos State University (LASU) has announced an indefinite postponement of its 24th convocation ceremonies scheduled for between Friday, March 20, 2020 and Friday, March 27, 2020.

A statement issued by the Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, Ademola Adekoya stated that the postponement was due to the prevailing health threats occasioned by coronavirus pandemic and resolution of the Federal and state governments to discourage gathering of people in public places.

“Management regrets any inconvenience the postponement might cause all our graduating students, awardees, family, friends and other stakeholders of the university,” the statement added.


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