Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire.
By Barnabas Esiet.
The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the first corona-virus disease (COVID 19) case in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.
In a statement, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the case involves an Italian citizen, who resides in Nigeria returning from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020.
According to the statement, the case was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital which is an arm of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.
The patient is said to be clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
The Nigerian government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been perfecting measures to ensure an outbreak in the country is controlled and quickly contained.
“The multi-institutional Corona-virus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Center and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.” The statement read.
The Health Minister assured Nigerians of government’s readiness and capability to respond to the 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.” Dr. Ehanire said.
He advised all Nigerians to take precautions by maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene.