PANIC & FEAR: ‘We now have a confirmed CORONAVIRUS Patient in Nigeria’-Dr. OSAGIE EHANIRE, Minister of Health * Case involves an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020 * He tested positive at the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control * Patient clinically stable with no serious symptoms, being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos * Lay out procedure on how Nigerians should take care of their health, maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves from COVID 19 * ‘Coronavirus patient visited Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State’- Tomi Coker, Commissioner for Health *BY DOLAPO AJAYI/Special Correspondent, SOUTH-WEST Nigeria


PANIC & FEAR:

‘We now have a confirmed CORONAVIRUS Patient in Nigeria’-Dr. OSAGIE EHANIRE, Minister of Health

* Case involves an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020

* He tested positive at the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

* Patient clinically stable with no serious symptoms, being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos

* Lay out procedure on how Nigerians should take care of their health, maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves from COVID 19

* ‘Coronavirus patient visited Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State’- Tomi Coker, Commissioner for Health

BY DOLAPO AJAYI/Special Correspondent, SOUTH-WEST Nigeria

THERE IS PALPABLE FEAR AMONG NIGERIANS that Coronavirus which has been discovered by Nigerian government may spread as time gets-by being a fast, transferable, respiratory problem. But the Nigerian government is assuring everyone that the nation is ready to conquer and avert the epidemic of this disease anywhere it is found on anyone in the country. The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, confirmed the case in a statement issued in the early hours of Friday, February 28, 2020.

The Italian confirmed to have been infected with Coronavirus had also visited Ewekoro in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State this week. But residents and visitors to the state have no reason to panic.

Going by the press statement from Dr Osagie Ehanire, Hon. Minister of Health, the case involves an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020. He was confirmed to be positive by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The ministry, however, noted that the patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos. The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.

The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020. He 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 Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly. The multi-sectoral Coronavirus 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.

I wish to assure all Nigerians that have we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case.

We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria. Please be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses. All Nigerians 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 yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in-crowd.

4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication.

6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, 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 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 Nigeria.

According to the Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Tomi Coker, “the Italian confirmed to have been infected with Coronavirus had also visited Ewekoro in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State this week.”

Coker disclosed that the Italian visited a giant manufacturing company(name withheld) in Ewekoro community, adding that the facility so visited has since been quarantined in accordance with health safety standard.

The Commissioner, who abandoned her bed rest to attend to the public health emergency, while briefing the press, said the state has epidemiologists and Infectious Disease Consultant already handling the situation with support from the Lagos State Government and Federal Government.

She said efforts are in place to get in touch with people that have had contact with the established index case.

She advised the public to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and to report to the nearest public health centre if they notice any sign of cold, cough and respiratory difficulty.

Additional report from The Nation & Channels TV

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