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First Case Of Coronavirus Disease Confirmed In Nigeria

March 3, 2020,

The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.

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.  The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

The Government of  Nigeria, through the  Federal Ministry  of  Health, has 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 and will 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. 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 1.5 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 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.
  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 970 0000-0010. 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. E. Osgi\  Ehanre MD, ACS

Honourable Minister of Health

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