Nigeria confirms third case of COVID-19

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The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on Tuesday confirmed third case of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, confirmed this development at a news conference in Abuja, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Ehanire said that the stringent surveillance efforts of FMoH identified the new case within the borders, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to three.

The minister added that “the latest case is a Nigerian national in her 30s, who returned from a short visit to the UK on March 13.

“Fortunately, she decided on returning home to go into 14 days of self-isolation, but subsequently developed symptoms of fever and cough on March 16.

“It was at that point she voluntarily called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) toll free call line to report her condition.

“Officials from the Lagos State Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) were immediately dispatched to her home to collect samples, which upon testing, came out positive for the coronavirus.

“The lady is currently at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, Lagos, where she has remained clinically stable and responding to treatment.”

The minister said intensive contact tracing had begun to help identify all persons who the patient had been in contact with since her return.

“We expect the number to be small because of her sensible decision to go into self-isolation from the time of her arrival.

“We commend her for following the recommended guidelines. The FMoH will continue to assess the situation and adjust response accordingly.

“The inaugural meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus will hold later today.

“Please continue to maintain hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, which has been repeatedly advised.”

According to him, the Federal Government will make further announcements later on today (Tuesday).

The minister said that the ministry would continue to carry out necessary risk assessments on daily basis.

He noted that the National Emergency Operations Centre and partners would work with Lagos State Health authorities in their response.

“It is important to note that many people who are infected with coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms and recover without incident.

“Of great concern are those with existing underlying medical conditions and senior citizens who are known to be more vulnerable.

“We strongly advise these citizens to stay more at home.’’

In addition, he advised citizens against relying only on social media, as pranksters tend to abuse the medium for misinformation and disinformation that cause fear and panic.

Ehanire said that the ministry would continue to issue statements to give the public true and useful information,
adding that “the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will continue to provide updates as they become available.

“We will also put in place all available measures needed to control the spread of any infectious disease outbreak in Nigeria.

“With regard to banning flights into Nigeria or social activities and festivals, I will provide an update after the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus.

“The meeting is scheduled for later today (Tuesday), headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,’’ he said. (NAN)

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