The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in Nigeria has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos state.

    The case which was confirmed on the February 27, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January this year.

    A statement issued and signed by Dr E. Osagie Ehanire, Federal Minister of Health (FMOH), and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday said the case was detected and confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, a part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

    The statement further revealed that, the case involved an Italian citizen who worked in Nigeria and returned from Milan to the country on Feb 25, this year.

    The statement assured all its citizens that, the government, through the FMoH was putting measures in place to ensure a nationwide outbreak was controlled and contained.

    It said a multi–sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the NCDC had activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and was closely working with the Lagos State Health authorities to respond to the case and implement firm control measures.

    “I wish to assure all Nigerians that we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all resources made available by government to respond to this case”, the statement said.

    It cautioned all Nigerians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, as most people when infected, would experience only mild illness and recover easily, but could be severe in the elderly and people with other underlying chronic illness.

    The statement further advised all to undertake precautions such as, regularly and thorough washing of hands with soap, water and using alcohol based hand sanitizers.

    “Make sure you and people around you follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning, cover your mouth and nose with handkerchiefs or tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. In the case of using a tissue, dispose it off immediately”, it said.

    It cautioned to at least maintain a 1.5 meters (5 feet) interval between themselves and a person coughing or sneezing, adding that, a person with persistent cough or sneeze should stay home or keep a social distance and not mingle with crowd.

    “Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing”, it stated.

    The statement urged citizens to stay informed on the latest developments about COVID- 19 through official channels on television and radio including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and FMoH adding that, they could also call the NCDC toll free number 0800 970 0000-0010 which was available 24/7 for guidance and not engage in self – medication.

    It cautioned all, especially the youth, not to abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that could cause fear and panic saying, the FMoH and the NCDC would continue to provide updates and would initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria.

    The patient on the other hand was clinically stable with no serious symptoms and was being managed at the infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.



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