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First case of coronavirus confirmed in Nigeria

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Friday, February 28, 2020 confirmed the first case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in Lagos, saying it was brought in by an Italian citizen.

An health official attend to a coronavirus patient

Abayomi, however, said the State Emergency Operations Centre in response to the case and implementing firm control measures has been activated.

He said in Lagos that the case was brought in by an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on Feb. 25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.

The commissioner said that the case was confirmed on Feb. 27, and has been reported to the Federal Ministry of Health.

Abayomi said that the patient fell ill on Feb.26, and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.

COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” Abayomi said.

The commissioner said that the state has been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos was controlled and contained quickly.

He said that the state government was doing this in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The commissioner reassured residents and Nigerians that it has been strengthening its preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China.

“We will use all the resources made available by the State and the Federal Governments 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,” he said.

Abayomi advised citizens to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

“Maintain at least one and a half metres (five 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,” he said.

Abayomi advised that people that feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing should stay indoor.

He advised them to call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.

The commissioner advised citizens to stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on television, radio, the Social Media, including the state Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.

“Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause fear and panic,” he said.

Abayomi said that the state, in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, would continue to provide updates and initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Lagos.

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