Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says Nigeria has not recorded any suspected case of coronavirus.
Ehanire gave the assurance during a ministerial briefing in Abuja on Friday, February 7, 2020.
He said that Nigeria had developed enough capacity to detect and isolate any Coronavirus case, especially at international entry points to the country.
He disclosed that the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), and other partners have provided scientific and technical support to Nigeria to strengthen its preparedness for the new 2019-nCoV.
He noted that the support was geared towards ensuring that Nigeria was better prepared to respond, in the event of an outbreak of 2019-nCoV.
“NCDC, Port Health Services and State Epidemiologists were aware of the process for identification and confirmation.
“We’ll review these criteria as additional information on CoV2019 becomes available,’’ he said.
He said that NCDC has continued to make advisories available to Nigerians on the novel coronavirus and how to protect themselves and had also published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to keep Nigerians informed.
“Since the emergence of the coronavirus, we have been working every day to learn as quickly as possible about this new virus.
“Ongoing research on its transmissibility and virulence will determine our response across Nigeria,” the minister said.
He advised Nigerians that if they experience symptoms of coronavirus like respiratory illness, restlessness or cough within 14 days of travel to China they should contact NCDC immediately on its toll-free number on – 0800-970000-10
He added that a strange illness recently discovered in Benue had been laboratory tested and showed no symptoms of Ebola, Lassa fever or coronavirus.
The minister said that NCDC had activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate response activities in conjunction with Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi to ascertain the nature of the illness.
The Senate on Thursday alerted Nigerians that a strange disease had hit Benue, killing 15 persons and about 104 seriously infected.
The Senate suspected that the outbreak may be coronavirus epidemic which it said required urgent health measures to identify. It revealed that the outbreak of the disease occurred on Jan. 29, 2020, in Oye, Obi Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue.
By Abujah Racheal