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Coronavirus lands in Lagos

Ayodele Olalere

 The Lagos State Ministry of Health has finally  confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, this time, Lagos State.

The victim, an Italian, has been reported to the Federal Ministry of Health. The case was confirmed, on Thursday.

The Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on February 25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit fell ill on February 26th and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing. Test was carried out on  and was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to have contacted the disease.

A release by the Lagos State Ministry of Health through the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, however indicated that  “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 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.

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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,” the release stated.

The statement further urged Lagosians to maintain high lever of hygiene to avoid contracting the disease.

“Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.  Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. People coughing persistently or sneezing should stay indoors or keep a social distance, but not mix with a crowd.  

“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.”

It added: ” Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. 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 socialist 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.