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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Lagos State Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Nigeria.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement early today said the case had been reported to the Federal Ministry of Health.
Professor Abayomi explained that government had put in place measures to ensure that any outbreak in the state was controlled and contained quickly in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the National Centre for Disease Control.
He urged residents not to panic as the Lagos state government was already responding to the situation.
FIRST CASE OF CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMED IN LAGOS
The Ministry of Health in Lagos State has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and reported it to the Federal Ministry of Health. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020.
The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of Feburary from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transfered 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. The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
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 apnd 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. Please call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.
6. 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.
Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic.
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.
Prof Akin Abayomi
Commissioner for Health
For Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu.
GLOBAL ACTION/ CORONA
*Now that Coronavirus is in Nigeria*
Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus says the coronavirus outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential”,
Dr Tedros stated that the global community is actually in a very delicate situation in which the outbreak could go in any direction based on how it is handled and
urged governments to act swiftly and aggressively to contain the virus emphasising that this is not not a time for fear, but a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives.
For a second day, more cases have been reported outside than inside China.
Iran and Italy have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from there spreading the virus further afield.
Several high-profile Iranian officials have become infected, the latest being Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar.
Globally, more than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries have been infected. Nearly 2,800 have died, the majority in China’s Hubei province.
Already, some Countries have taken decisive measures over the Virus
Japan and Iraq have ordered schools to close – a measure already taken in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Saudi Arabia has halted travel to Mecca and Medina and is stopping pilgrims from entering the country, It is not clear if the Hajj pilgrimage, which begins in July this year, will be affected
Iran has urged citizens to avoid making unnecessary trips within the country and cancelled Friday prayers in Tehran and other cities
Australia is extending a ban on foreign visitors from mainland China.
Italy, where 17 people have died, has recorder 659 infections and has quarantined 11 towns, and several countries including Algeria ,Denmark , Romania, Spain, the Netherlands and Brazil. have reported infections linked to Italy.
Greeceis cancelling all carnival activities
In the meantime, China reported 29 more deaths and 433 new cases on Thursday and has ordered people arriving in Beijing from affected countries to self-quarantine.
South Korea saw new cases bringing its total infections to 1,261 with 12 deaths.
Singapore said a 12-year-old student at the top Raffles Institution school was among three new cases, bringing its total to 96.
France, now has 38 confirmed cases and two deaths. France is the world’s most visited country.
Northern Ireland diagnosed its first case bringing the total in the UK to 16
The US has recorded its first confirmed case of “unknown origin”, the 60th in the country overall.
The unidentified person in California had “no relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient” with the virus, US officials said.