Coronavirus has finally hit Nigeria as the Lagos state Ministry of Health has announced the first case of the deadly disease in the Country, since the outbreak of the disease in China in January 2020.
Professor Akin Abayomi, the state Commissioner for Health, in a statement says the case, which was confirmed on February 27, 2020, is of an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on February 25th, from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. The Italian fell sick on February 26th and was taken to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
The disease was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Professor Abayomi stated that the Italian patient is clinically stable, and has 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 went on to assured all Lagos residents and Nigerians that the state has been strengthening its preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China and has vowed that the state will use all its available resources to respond to this case. Abayomi also revealed that efforts are currently been made to identify all the contacts of the patient, from the first day he arrived Nigeria.
The statement also disclosed that most people who gets infected with the coronavirus, may only experience a mild illness and could recover easily and fast, but the infection could be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses. The Commissioner went on to advised all Lagosians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.
The following precautions were listed 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 concluded that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Lagos.