Nigeria: Coronavirus in Nigeria, Other Major Health Stories Last Week

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 world is yet to find a solution to the coronavirus outbreak which has now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

Last week, Nigeria and about 15 other countries reported their first cases of the disease which as at Saturday has reached about 50 countries.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is still battling a Lassa fever outbreak with death toll climbing to 118 last week.

Here is a round-up of some of the major health stories last week

Nigeria records first Coronavirus case

Nigeria has recorded its first case of coronavirus after an Italian who arrived the country tested positive to the virus, the Federal Ministry of Health has said

The case was confirmed on Thursday.

"The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing," the Lagos State Ministry of Health also said in a statement.

Scientists are intensifying their efforts at developing vaccines to contain the wide-spreading disease.

The World Health Organisation on Friday said more than 20 vaccines are at the development stage globally, and several therapeutics are in clinical trials.

The disease is a novel virus, and has no known treatment or vaccine to combat it. This has seen it spread to over 49 countries with over 2000 deaths recorded.

Coronavirus: Why infected Italian was not detected at Lagos airport - Minister

The Italian infected with coronavirus arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday but the disease was not detected at the Lagos international airport, his point of entry, because it was still at the incubation stage, Nigeria's health minister, Osagie Ehanire, has said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Lagos and federal governments, early Friday, confirmed the coronavirus case, the first in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Ehanire explained that the Italian got into the country without being detected at the airport because he was asymptomatic (disease was still at the incubation stage) at the time of entry.

Coronavirus: US confirms first death

The U.S. has reported the first death from the new coronavirus in the country, in the state of Washington.

Officials said the patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

President Donald Trump said more cases were "likely" but added that the country was prepared for any circumstance.

On Sunday, Australia and Thailand also recorded their first fatalities from the disease.

Coronavirus miracle? Vietnam says all its infected patients cured

Amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak around the world, Vietnam has announced that all 16 infected patients in the country were discharged from hospital and declared cured.

As of Wednesday, all 16 patients, including the oldest who is 73, had been cured and discharged from the hospital.

For the past 15 days, including on Friday, the government also detected no new cases of infections, the last one having been reported on February 13, even as a village north of Hanoi remains under a 20-day lock down.

Nigeria's death toll from Lassa fever hits 118 - NCDC

Deaths from the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has reached 118, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed.

From January 1 to February 23, 2633 suspected cases, with 689 confirmed and 118 deaths, have been recorded in the country.

The number of cases has significantly increased compared to the same period in 2019.

In 2019, 1249 suspected cases with 381 confirmed and 83 deaths were recorded in the same period.

COVID-19: FCCPC warned against increase In prices of hygiene products

The Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has warned suppliers and retailers not to take undue advantage of citizens by hiking the prices of basic safety and protective apparel such as face masks, latex gloves, sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the commission, such products are necessary in preventing infections or the further spread of the virus. It said the indiscriminate rise in the prices violates both moral codes and extant laws which prohibit obnoxious trade practices.

Nigeria loses $1.5bn in GDP annually to micro-nutrient deficiencies

Nigeria loses 1.5 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Products (GDP) annually to micro-nutrient deficiencies (MND), the World Bank, said.

MND causes an increased financial burden on the healthcare system and an indirect loss of productivity, the report states.

A similar report by UNICEF had also declared malnutrition as the underlying cause of most under-five children's death in the country.

WHO chief on coronavirus: Global markets 'should calm down and try to see the reality'

Market panic over the fast-spreading new coronavirus is uncalled for, the World Health Organisation's director-general said Sunday as governments around the world struggle to contain its spread.

"Global markets ... should calm down and try to see the reality," Tedros Ghebreyesus told CNBC's Hadley Gamble during a panel discussion at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid Center's International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh.

"We need to continue to be rational. Irrationality doesn't help. We need to deal with the facts," he said.

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