Nigerian health authorities have announced the country’s first case of the dreaded Corona virus or COVID-19 after a visiting Italian businessman got diagnosed and was isolated for treatment and currently “stable with no serious symptoms”.
The COVID-19 patient was detected in the commercial city of Lagos and is the first case recorded in sub-Saharan Africa so ce the disease broke out in China in January.
“The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of Feburary from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transfered to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing,” Akin Abayomi, Lagos health commissioner said in a statement early Friday.
Abayomi, a Professor of Medicine, said the 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.
“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” the Nigerian health official said.
Health authorities in the West African country have been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in major cities like Lagos or elsewhere is controlled and contained quickly through the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures,” Lagos city authorities said.
Officials announced that they were “working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he arrived in Nigeria” for diagnosis and isolation, if the need arises.
“Everywhere is vulnerable to Coronavirus. Nigeria is even more prepared than some countries. We are doing our best. There is no change in what we are doing to contain a possible outbreak of Coronavirus in the country,” Health minister, Dr. Emmanuel Ehanire had said in a previous media briefing.
“The Chinese have given us clinical criteria. We suspect and address anything that looks like Coronavirus because the cost of testing is very high.” The Nigerian health minister concluded.
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