The Nigerian government has announced a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the positive test of coronavirus in Nigeria, Friday morning, in a statement signed by Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health.
The case, recorded on the Thursday 27th of February 2020, is the first to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
There are reports that the killer disease has hit at least 40 countries and caused over 3,000 deaths.
The minister’s statement disclosed that the case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria, on the 25th of February 2020.
He was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
The Nigerian government said it has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly.
It noted that the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the NCDC has immediately activated its national Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
The minister added: “I wish to assure all Nigerians that we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases 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.
‘”All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, by following the precautions below
“Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
“Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
“Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
The Nigerian government appealed to citizens not to indulge in spreading misinformation that would cause fear and panic.