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Nigeria confirms first case of coronavirus

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
28 February 2020   |   5:54 am
Nigeria on Thursday confirmed its first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos State.

Nigeria on Thursday confirmed its first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos State.

The patient is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria who returned from Milan to Lagos on the 25th of February 2020.

He was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, which is part of the Laboratory Network at the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.

By this confirmation, Nigeria becomes the third country in Africa to have a confirmed case of coronavirus aside Egypt and Algeria and first in West Africa.

The Government has started working to identify all the persons who had contacts with the Italian citizen

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who disclosed this in a statement noted that the patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms and is being managed at the infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

Ehanire reminded Nigerians that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, while It can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and person with other underlying chronic illnesses.

The Minister observed that Government through the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly adding that the multi-sectovol Cownovirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.

He urged Nigerians not to engage in self-medication.

Ehanire assured all Nigerians that has been beefing up its preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China and will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case.

The Minister warned Nigerians not to abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that would cause fear and panic as the Federal Ministry of Health. through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in the country.

He urged all Nigerians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.

It would be recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Nigeria as high in a risk assessment on Coronavirus primarily because of the frequent travels between China and Nigeria.

The global health body revealed that it was focusing its efforts on eight states and Abuja that have ports of entry either by air or water. The states include Lagos, Kano, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Delta and Bayelsa states.