The first case of the dreaded Coronavirus has been confirmed in Lagos State, Nigeria. Equally important, it was confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Italy to Lagos. According to reports, the man arrived in the country on the 25th of February 2020.
The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms. Furthermore, he is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
A statement by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire reads:
I wish to assure all Nigerians that have we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of coronavirus in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case.
We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he entered Nigeria. Please be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses.
Health Minister shares advisory on how to beat the Coronavirus scourge
All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below:
1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in-crowd.
4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication
6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.
Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria.
Dr Osagie Ehanire