Nigeria: Coronavirus - Suspected Chinese Nationals Test Negative in Plateau - Govt

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.
2 March 2020

Abuja — The Federal Government has allayed fears that the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria had spread to Plateau state, saying the four Chinese nationals suspected of contracting the disease had tested negative.

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this while briefing reporters on Monday in Abuja.

He maintained that no new confirmed case of COVID-19 had been recorded in the country since an index case was reported in Lagos last week.

Recall that an unnamed Italian citizen who entered Nigeria from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit had tested positive to the virus. The patient was subsequently placed under intensive care at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

According to Ehanire, 14 tests had been done from contact tracing of the index patient with all of them testing negative.

He said that in addition to the tracing of the contacts linked with the index patient, the Federal Government has also activated other response activities to contain the spread.

The Minister said, "Plateau state government reported four suspected cases among Chinese nationals but they have tested negative.

"The state has placed them on 30 days supervision and we will continue to monitor the global situations to prevent the spread of the virus.

"The Federal Ministry of Health is also working with the Lagos and Ogun state governments to carry contact tracing and other response activities.

"Currently, the contact tracing of the index case has identified 19 contacts in Lagos, 29 contacts in Ogun, including the driver that picked him from the airport.

"We are in touch with these contacts who are under self-supervised isolation and the states have provided them with temperature monitoring tools."

The Minister added that he was in Lagos during the weekend to monitor the situation of the index patient and activities of the state government.

According to him, the condition of the index case of the COVID-19 patient has further improved, stressing that he has not developed new symptoms.

"It is important for all Nigerians to focus on facts, not fear and not to generate panic; citizens must not abuse social media and spread misinformation.

"The ministry will continue to give an update and work on measures to prevent an outbreak in the country."

He urged Nigerians to maintain calm and adopt good hygiene practices, especially handwashing using alcohol-based sanitisers to disinfect themselves.

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