Nigerian officials have confirmed the first Corona virus disease case in the country.
The country’s Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday reported the COVID-19 case in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria few days after declaring a Chinese returnee earlier quarantined for the disease.
The patient, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the country’s Health Minister told Journalists is an Italian citizen working in the country.
The unnamed patient according to Ehanire returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020.
“He was confirmed (on 27th February, 2020) by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,” said the Minister.
“No need to panic“
The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, Mr. Ehanire said.
Officials, the Minister said, are already tracking all the patient’s contacts, since returning to Nigeria.
Federal Ministry of Health, in Ehanire’s words “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.”
He however warned that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily.
“It can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses,” he said.
Easy prevention tips
All Nigerians, Mr. Ehanire pleaded should “take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.”
They should, in his words, do so by 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.
- 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.
7. 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.