Nigeria’s health minister Osagie Ehanire on Friday in Abuja confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case involving an Italian who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos on 25th February, 2020.
Ehanire said it was the first case to be recorded in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020.
The case was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network at 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,’’ he said.
The minister assured Nigerians that the government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, had been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly.
The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Centre.
He said NCDC would work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Nigerians that have 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,’’ the minister said.
Ehanire further advised all Nigerians to take core of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below:
“Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
“Maintain at least 1.5 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 o handkerchief or 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,’’ he said.