The Nigerian government has formally confirmed a case of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in Lagos, south-west of the country.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said at a news conference in Abuja on friday that an Italian who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos on the 25th of February, tested positive with the infection.
Dr Ehanire added that the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital confirmed the case, saying that the patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
”The government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly. The multi-sectoral coronavirus preparedness group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has immediately activated its national emergency operations centre and will work closely with Lagos State health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
I wish to assure all Nigerians that we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case,” he said.
The Health Minister said that health officials have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he entered Nigeria.
The Minister cautioned that people who become infected may experience mild illness and recover easily, but the symptoms could be more severe with the elderly and those with underlying illnesses.
He advised Nigerians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves, their families and others.
The confirmed case of coronavirus on Thursday was first to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak of the disease in China in January this year.