Nigeria: Lagos Quarantines Six People Over Suspected Case of Coronavirus

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
11 March 2020

The Lagos State government has quarantined six persons in its Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba over suspected case of Coronavirus disease, officially known as COVID-19.

It has also found the two missing Nigerians who sat close to the Italian index case during his flight from Istanbul to Lagos on February 27.

Stating these during a press briefing in Lagos Wednesday, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Abayomi Ajayi said the six cases comprise of a family of four children and their teacher who came into Nigeria from the United States, and were believed to have been in close proximity with someone suspected to be infected with the disease prior to their trip, and a traveller from the United Kingdom who showed certain symptoms associated with the disease.

He said: "We have kept the family in our centre now for two days. Their first test came out negative. We will repeat it within the next 48 hours. The one from the UK will be tested this evening.

"The three persons who were in isolation earlier this week have been released because they tested negative to the virus."

Abayomi said the two names released Monday to the media by the Lagos State were persons who had contact with the index case, but that they have now been identified, adding that necessary protocol has been instituted to ascertain their status.

"The media really did well. It was very quick to have them identified. I was surprised at the speed at which they reached us."

He also stated that the Italian index case was recovering fast even though he was still secreting the virus.

He said: "The other confirmed case is in a stable condition. He had little symptoms which have now been taken care of. We will repeat his test tomorrow to be sure he is no longer secreting the virus."

Abayomi also cautioned Nigerians against buying face masks, noting that the commodity should be left for sick persons and healthcare workers.

"What Nigerians need to do is wash their hands under running water. We have now moved to address issues of shortage of hand sanitisers in Lagos State. The Ministry of Health has started producing its own sanitisers. In a matter of days, we will release it into the market.

"We embarked on this because it is not good for people to start profiteering from hand sanitisers because of coronavirus. This product is very easy to make. It is a simple combination of alcohol, gel, glycerine, water and other materials in the correct proportion. It is not rocket science. Everyone can actually make it."

He said in situations where sanitisers are not available, Nigerians can actually use alcohol.

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