The Lagos state Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of Coronavirus aka COVID-19 in Nigeria, since the outbreak of the disease in China in January 2020.
A statement released by the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, says the case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is of 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.
He said the Italian 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” the statement read.
The Commissioner assured all Lagosians and Nigerians that the state has been strengthening its preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China and vowed that the state will use all its resources made available to respond to this case. He added that efforts are been made to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he arrived in Nigeria.
According to the statement, most people who become infected with the virus, 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. The Commssioner advised all residents of the state to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.
He listed the following precautions to take to avoid getting infected:
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.
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.
The Commissioner added that the 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.