The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, has debunked the rumours making the round over a case of novel coronavirus in the state, saying that there is no suspected or confirmed case of the virus.
Abayomi gave the clarification in a statement issued on Sunday, February 2, 2020 in Lagos.
He urged citizens to disregard the misinformation on social media as well as any other information about the virus that did not emanate from his ministry, the Federal Ministry of Health or the National Centre for Disease Control.
“I would like to reassure Lagosians that our vigilance levels are very high, and we are putting more measures in place to safeguard the state.
“Through our strategic initiatives with federal authorities, we are putting higher levels of surveillance into effect at all international airports in Nigeria, including Lagos to ensure that we minimise the threat of entry of any case of coronavirus,” Abayomi said.
He advised all travellers returning from China and those exposed to travellers from China or any country where cases of Corona virus have been reported to observe self-quarantine on arrival in Lagos.
Abayomi noted that unsupervised self-quarantine for travellers was the first step in containing the virus in the state.
According to Abayomi, self-quarantine is a public health strategy used to separate and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to a communicable disease.
He said that the aim was to protect individuals who might have been exposed and the general public.
“Novel coronavirus infection has an incubation period of five to 14 days.
“This means if you have been in China or any other country that is now experiencing coronavirus transmission from person to person, you may become unwell after a period of five to 14 days of your return.
“During unsupervised self-quarantine, we expect persons concerned to respond to the state and act like responsible citizens.
“You are required to restrict your movement to your home, monitor yourself closely, report any symptom that may develop to the ministry of health on the contact numbers provided and engage in good personal hygiene,” Abayomi said.
The Commissioner explained that persons observing self-quarantine must stay at home during the whole duration of the self-quarantine, must avoid workplace and minimise contacts with family members.
He advised such persons to ensure no contact with visitors, refrain from attending or going to public or social functions and must not ride or fly in any mode of public transportation.
“You must monitor yourself closely and diligently during the self-quarantine period to identify if you develop symptoms, including, but not limited to, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, chest pain, chills, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and pneumonia,” he said.
Abayomi urged persons observing self-quarantine and those who developed any of the aforementioned symptoms to immediately contact his ministry on 08023169485, 08033565529 and 08052817243 for further instructions.
According to the WHO, countries should prepare to communicate rapidly, regularly and transparently with the population.
“All countries should prepare existing public health communication networks, media and community engagement staff to be ready for a possible case, and for the appropriate response if this happens. Countries should coordinate communications with other response organisations and include the community in response operations.
“WHO stands ready to coordinate with partners to support countries in their communication and community engagement response,” it said.