What started as a mystery virus in Wuhan, China, has now killed more than 2,859 people and infected thousands more around the world. On Thursday February 28, the first case of the Coronavirus was confirmed in Lagos state, Nigeria. A statement released by the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, says the case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is of 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. COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
He said the Italian patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanirem has now shared ways to prevent yourself from contracting the disease.
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 any outbreak in Nigeria.
Dr Osagie Ehanire
Hon. Minister of Health
Outside China, where the virus broke out from, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, Iran, Italy, South Korea, India, and now Nigeria.