Nigeria: Coronavirus - Lagos Begins Identification Process

The tweet in which Nigeria's federal health ministry announced the country's first coronavirus case.
28 February 2020

Following the confirmed case of coronavirus in Nigeria, Lagos State Ministry of Health has begun to identify all the contacts of the infected Italian national in order to isolate them and hedge the spread of the virus.

Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, at a press conference on Friday, said that the exercise started at 3am on Friday and continues.

The Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed that an Italian national, who entered Nigeria on February 25, had tested positive to COVID-19.

The Italian citizen fell ill on February 26 and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing, where he tested positive.

"We have aggressively started to identify all his contacts all the way to the airline and that process started around 3 am this morning and it continues. We will like to assure everybody that we are on this case to make sure that we can identify everyone he has come in contact with," Mr Abayomi said.

The Commissioner said the ministry has traced the movement of the infected Italian national from the airport through Lagos to Ogun State and they are busy identifying everyone he came in contact with.

"We are identifying any possible person that may have come in contact with him so that we can start isolation and containment exercise to ensure we break the cycle of transmission."

Mr Abayomi added that the Italian national has no symptoms of respiratory disease but he does have a fever and body aches.

"If he has respiratory symptoms, it is likely to be more contagious than it is at the moment," he said.

The Commissioner also said the state has been building capacity steadily with fortified support at the airport by sending health professionals that will support the Federal authorities.

Mr Abayomi said an emergency form has been developed for all travelers to fill as they arrive at the airport. There is also a 80-bed isolation facility for suspected cases after which tests can be run at the biosecurity facilities and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, he said.

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