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Nigeria has acquired in-country capacity to test coronavirus – Minister

Nigeria, with the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO), acquired in-country capacity to test for coronavirus.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this in a statement issued by Mrs Enefaa Bob-Manuel, the Head of Media and Public Relations in the ministry on Sunday, February 2, 2020 in Abuja.

Ehanire, who thanked WHO for the support, however, called on those who went to China in the past fortnight to “self-isolate” for at least 14 days to protect their families and communities.

“Such persons who develop fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty in breathing should also report to the nearest hospital for checkup.

“All healthcare workers who receive patients with symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty in breathing are to supply them masks and isolate them.

“They should do so before contacting the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on 07032864444.

“Naso pharyngeal or throat swabs are to be collected for testing for coronavirus at NCDC,’’ he advised.

The minister also advised all persons, who within 14 days of onset of illness had any one of the following exposures, to report to the nearest hospital, namely history of travel to China 14 days prior to onset of symptoms or, close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus infection or, exposure to a healthcare facility anywhere, which is associated with coronavirus infection.

Such persons are to come forward to a hospital for testing.

He also said that those with laboratory confirmation of corona 2019nCoV infection, with or without signs and symptoms of illness, should go for test.

There were 7,818 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally as at Jan. 30, 2020, with majority in China.

By Cecilia Ologunagba

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