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Sanwo-Olu narrates how coronavirus patient was brought to Lagos

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the Italian who has been diagnosed with coronavirus in Lagos was brought in from Ogun State after he exhibited symptoms of the disease.

Speaking at a press conference, yesterday, the governor said the patient was on a business trip to Ogun State, but when he exhibited some symptoms of Coronavirus, he was isolated in the health facility of the company (Lafarge Cement) he visited and was only transferred to Lagos for proper test to be conducted, adding that the patient was transferred to Lagos because it has two facilities to conduct test for such disease.

He revealed that immediately the patient was brought into Lagos, he was put in an isolation centre and a test was conducted, which turned positive.

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The Lagos State governor implored all residents to be calm and not panic, as the state government has put in place measures to manage the crisis, including activating surveillance team at each of the councils.

Also, yesterday, the Ogun State Government announced that it had begun moves to identify all the persons that came in contact with the coronavirus patient during his visit to the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, at a press briefing in Abeokuta, said the government had commenced the “line-listing” of people he had contact with, adding that if any is detected to have contacted the virus, he or she would be quarantined.

Meanwhile, Lafarge has clarified that the victim works for a vendor that provides services to Lafarge Africa Plc in Ogun State, saying: “As a business, we have immediately identified the persons who had direct contact with the concerned individual. We have equally initiated isolation, quarantine and disinfection protocol.”

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A statement by its Director, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said: “Lafarge Africa is also working in close partnership with International SOS, our medical service provider, a leading global health company. Health and Safety remains a core value at Lafarge Africa and we intend to leverage this strength at this critical time.”

Providing more detailed information, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said: “We had a traveller that started his journey from Milan on Monday, February 24. He transited through Istanbul via a Turkish Airline and arrived in Lagos on Tuesday night and spent the night in a hotel near the airport and the following morning, he moved on to his business in Ogun State, a corporate entity.

“He carried out his business within Ogun State within the confine of the company on Wednesday and spent the night in their accommodation, a guest house.

“By the afternoon, he started to develop symptoms of high fever and body pains. He presented it to the company medical facility, where investigation began. Of course, he gave a history of his origin of Italy, where we know there is a young outbreak. It was astute of the medical personnel to keep him over night in an isolated environment.”

The commissioner said: “They contacted us at the biosecurity unit in Lagos for assistance and we immediately asked them to transfer the case to Lagos. He was brought to our high containment facility in Yaba on Thursday morning.

“Immediately, he arrived, he was put in strict isolation and appropriate tests were ordered. Within hours, we received signals that the test in the laboratory was showing signs of positivity. At that point, we informed the Minister of Health and the incident commander, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The minister informed higher authorities in Abuja.”

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Abayomi said it was self-important at that time to put together, information for the public, reason the state government announced to the public about the case of a confirmed corona virus, noting that the patient remains in strict isolation at its containment facility in Yaba and was doing well with supportive therapy.

“As of now, we have started to trace the movement from the airport through Lagos to Ogun State and we are busy identifying any possible person that may have come in contact with him, so that we can start our isolation and containment exercise to ensure we break the circle of transmission.

“In Lagos, we have been building capacity steadily, fortified support at the airport and sending state health personnel to support federal authorities. A form has been developed and all travellers are to fill the form as they arrived.

“At our infectious facility, we have ramped up our capacity to isolate cases. We are now sitting on an 80-bed facility because of the urgency funds that has been released by the incident commander, Sanwo-Olu.

“We are continuing to build more capacity, should in case we have an increase number of cases in Lagos. We have an aggressive public awareness campaign going on and we have engaged in extensive training across the hierarchy of health professionals in Lagos State.

“In addition, we are building our capacity to diagnose the case in Lagos and right now, we can run the test in two centres in Lagos- one in our biosecurity facility and the other at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

“We are in constant contact with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Minister of Health and we are exchanging information continuously.

“The important thing is that the patient is confined and we have aggressively started to identify all his contacts all the way to the airline and that process started around 3.00a.m this (yesterday) morning and it continues as we speak.

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“We like to assure everybody that we are on this case to identify everybody that came in contact with him. The symptoms are subsiding; he does not have any symptoms of respiratory disease. It is probably a good thing, but he does have fever and body pain. If he had respiratory symptoms, it may be more contagious than it is likely at the moment.”

Coker said the victim developed fever 24 hours after arriving in the state and was treated at the clinic located in the factory and had already made three contacts in Lagos before arrival in Ogun on Tuesday.

The commissioner said a team of epidemiologists from Ogun, Lagos and the Federal Ministry of Health had commenced line-listing of contacts to ascertain number of contacts the victim made during his stay in the state, insisting that it would be premature to put number to the contacts he made in Ogun “since the case was just confirmed on Friday (yesterday).”

She disclosed that the whole cement factory had been quarantine following the incident, while imploring residents to take precaution, saying every single contact with the victim would be identified.

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