Nigeria Confirms First Coronavirus Case

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The Federal Republic of Nigeria has recorded its first case of Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, as confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on Thursday, 27 February 2020.

Confirming the development, the FMoH in a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire revealed that: “The index case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing”.

Nigeria Confirms First Coronavirus Case
FMoH banner confirming the case

With this confirmation in country, Nigeria is now the third country in Africa with the reported case of #COVID19 after Egypt and Algeria; and the suspect in the former, a foreigner, later tested negative to the virus. In Algeria, an Italian who arrived Algiers on February 17 tested positive to the disease.

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Meanwhile, Ehanire has assured Nigerians that measures are in place to respond appropriately, as the ministry is working with the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH). “We assure all Nigerians that measures are in place to respond appropriately. We’re working with the LSMOH to identify contacts & initiate response accordingly”

Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Health also corroborated the outbreak through his Twitter handle @ProfAkinAbayomi, “Lagos State has recorded its first confirmed case of #COVID19.The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be confirmed in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020”, he noted.

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The commissioner, urged all Lagosians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others.

Abayomi further explained that the patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital (Mainland Hospital) in Yaba, Lagos.

Preventive measures

While it is double tragedy for Nigeria, which has since being battling the outbreak of Lassa fever in the country, the inclusion of Coronavirus to the list of viral infections in the country has made dissemination of preventive information a critical case for all healthcare practitioners.

To prevent the spread of the disease, these are the basic tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Also use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 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.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene – If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
  •  Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.
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