Nigeria: Coronavirus Suspicion - Plateau Quarantines Three Chinese, 39 Nigerians

Images combined from a 3D medical animation, depicting the shape of coronavirus as well as the cross-sectional view. Image shows the major elements including the Spike S protein, HE protein, viral envelope, and helical RNA.

The Plateau State Government said on Sunday that it has quarantined three Chinese and 39 Nigerians working in the state.

The Plateau State Commissioner of Health, Nimkong Ndam, said the 43 people are being quarantined in Bakin Kaya village of Wase Local Government Area of the state.

The commissioner said the people are being kept in isolation based on suspicion they may be infected with the coronavirus.

None of the Chinese reported sick, but they were detained and isolated for precautionary reasons, the commissioner said.

Mr Ndam said, during a press conference in Jos, the state capital, that none of the persons exhibited symptoms of the viral disease.

He said the 39 individuals quarantined alongside the Chinese are those working with them on a mining site and in their residence.

He said the Chinese arrived Nigeria through Abuja last Wednesday before travelling to Plateau State.

"The three of them came in through Abuja and once we heard that; the commissioner for health had to take a proactive measure to send a medical team to Wase to go and investigate."

"As far as Plateau State is concerned, there has been no known case of this virus on the Plateau; we just took proactive measures to make sure that we place them (the Chinese nationals) under investigation and that will take 14 days," Mr Ndam said.

He, however, urged the general public in the state not to panic as adequate measures had been put in place to detect the infection and ensure that if it exists, it does not spread.

Nigeria has so far confirmed only one case of coronavirus, which has killed almost 3,000 people, mostly in China where it originated from.

The Nigerian victim is an Italian who arrived in Nigeria last week.

The Italian has since been quarantined at a medical facility in Lagos while those who had contact with him are being identified and kept in isolation.

Nigerian health officials have been advising citizens on steps to take to prevent the spread of the virus and if they suspect they may have the virus. The steps are mainly to prevent human to human spread of the disease. They include regular washing of hands with soap, use of hand gloves, hand sanitizer, and coverage of the nose while sneezing.

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