Coronavirus: 1,300 people under watch in Nigeria

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L-R: Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, during a press briefing on the first case of Coronavirus in the State at Lagos House, Marina, on Friday, February 28, 2020.
L-R: Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, during a press briefing on the first case of Coronavirus in the State at Lagos House, Marina, on Friday, February 28, 2020.

The Nigerian government has revved up its efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the monitoring of 1, 300 persons who had direct and indirect contacts with the 12 confirmed cases.

The Lagos state government on Thursday confirmed four new cases of coronavirus, 11 of which are in the state while the 12th and the only one outside Lagos, is the driver of an American citizen who died in Ekiti State.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the state executive would take a decision on the next stage of social distancing.

He said all the fresh cases were responding to treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, adding that the Italian index case and the second case had tested negative.

Deal of the day

He explained that the Italian would not be allowed to go home yet until a reconfirmation test is carried out.

Nigeria's Center for Disease Control has contained the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria
Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control has contained the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria

The commissioner said the four new cases were among the 19 people tested on Wednesday.

According to him, one of the four is a Nigerian who had not travelled out but had contact with an infected person.

Another, according to him, is a woman who had contact with the woman that came from UK some days ago, who tested positive.

The third is also a lady who returned from France on March 14 through a Turkish airline, flight TK 1830 and the fourth is a Nigerian male who arrived the country on March 13 from Frankfurt on Lufthansa Airline, flight number LH 568.

Abayomi appealed to Lagos residents to remain calm because the government is considering more options towards stopping the virus from infecting more people,

The commissioner said: “It is clear that we now have a combination of imported cases and local transmission and more tests are still being carried out.

“Currently, we are following over 1,300 people right now to find information about the state of their health and the number is increasing. We are currently running more tests on suspected cases and contacts of our confirmed cases.

“The executive of Lagos State is meeting on the next stage on social distancing.

“The best way to slow the rate is to halt movement of the virus from person to person.”

He appealed to all those on the two flights (Turkish airline TK 1830 and Lufthansa airline flight number LH568) to self-isolate four 14 days and to reach out to the government if they needed medical assistance or have concerns.

“You will recall that we had four new cases yesterday (Wednesday) – a mother and child that travelled from United States into Lagos; a gentleman that travelled from London into Lagos; an American citizen that crossed the Benin Republic border into Nigeria – all four of them tested positive and all four of them have been admitted at our Bio-Security Unit at Yaba.

“They are all doing well in isolation. That was in addition to our index case, the Italian gentleman, and the lady that travelled from United Kingdom who was our third case.”