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Nigeria Confirms First Case of Coronavirus in Lagos, Plus What You Must Do

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CoronavirusNigerian government  on Friday announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on Twitter.

“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.”

The Ministry of Health in Lagos State had reported the case to the Federal Ministry of Health.

In a press release singed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health Prof Akin Abayomi on behalf of the governor Jide Sanwo-Olu, “this 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.

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“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.

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“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 and 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.

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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.”

Prior to the case in Nigeria, just two cases had surfaced across all of Africa – in Egypt and in Algeria – a tally that had puzzled health specialists, given the continent’s close economic ties with China.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this week that African health systems were ill-equipped to respond to the deadly coronavirus outbreak should cases start to proliferate on the continent.

 

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