Nigeria: Coronavirus - Why We Invited Italian to Nigeria - Lafarge

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.

Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement manufacturer company in Ogun State has explained why the firm invited an Italian, who was later diagnosed with coronavirus, to Nigeria.

The company through its Industrial Director, Segun Soyoye, said the Italian came to Lafarge facilities at Ewekoro to inspect some installations of machines bought from a Swedish firm.

He disclosed this at their facility during an on-the-spot-assessment by the host state government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) teams.

Mr Soyoye also said that the guest house where the Italian was lodged is 5km to the manufacturing plant in Ewekoro.

"The Italian came for a business visit. He was in Lagos on Monday and slept at Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Our driver took him there, and when we observed abnormal temperatures and symptoms, we quickly instituted an Emergency Response Team which is led by the Company CEO; we have to find a way of analysing and identifying not only the Italian but also the other contacts," Mr Soyoye was quoted as saying by the government-owned News Agency of Nigeria.

The official also said 39 people suspected to have had contact with the Italian have been quarantined.

"Today (Saturday) is Day 3; they will be there for 14 days. We will continue to observe them, we have their database, showing their biodata and other information, he said. "The doctor is here and what he is doing is to check them on a regular basis. So far everybody is stable, they are not symptomatic, we are providing everything for them over there.

"The other thing that I have not said is that the clinic that was used for the infected person is closed, disinfected and we moved everybody out.

"All the guys on duty that day, they were also quarantined, so they will be there for 14 days as well," Mr Soyoye said.

Lafarge management and the Ogun State Government also debunked the closure of the cement production company.

The state government through Ogun Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker, commended Lafarge Africa for the quick and proactive measures taken so far.

She also said an Emergency Operation Committee had been activated to manage any development that may arise from the reported cases of coronavirus.

Also, Ibrahim Mamadu, the Team Leader of World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria, also commended the internal processes undertaken so far by Lafarge Africa to contain the deadly disease.

He, however, advised the company and others to acquire digital thermometers to check body temperatures instead of infrared thermometers for accurate body temperature readings.

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