Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has advised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to stop all flights from countries that have recorded outbreak of coronavirus.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election, said Nigeria should fight the disease the same way it was able to tackle the outbreak of Ebola in 2014.
He said in a Facebook post that since Buhari had been able to shut land borders to protect the economy, it would not be too difficult to stop flights from countries facing the coronavirus scourge.
“But above all, Nigeria must not panic, whether at the government or individual levels. We have defeated Ebola before, and we can defeat this present predicament,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday allayed the fears of Lagosians over the record of the deadly coronavirus in the state, saying there was no cause for alarm.
Speaking at a press conference at the State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu said the government had begun tracing those who had contacts with the Italian patient who developed the symptoms in Ogun State, where he had a businesses meeting on Tuesday.
With surveillance officers stationed in all the local government and local council development areas, the governor tasked Lagosians and Nigerians in general on preventive measures through observing proper personal and environmental hygiene.
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Friday also called for calm among residents of the state, saying the state government had always been proactive in relation to the safety of lives.
Meanwhile, Saipem, an Italian multinational oilfield services company, has debunked claims that the Italian man who brought the dreaded coronavirus to Nigeria visited its office on Banana Island, Lagos.
The Managing Director of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, Walter Peviani, said in a statement on Friday that the Italian never visited the office.
A Nigerian and a Chinese medical practitioner who were quarantined for coronavirus in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for one month have been released after testing negative to the deadly virus.
A source at the state Ministry of Health confirmed that the Nigerian, who arrived from China a month ago, manifested some symptoms similar to those of coronavirus when his case was reported by the private hospital where he was being treated.
He was said to have been quarantined but was later released after testing negative to the virus.
The second patient, a Chinese medical practitioner, was brought into the hospital by a Chinese factory in Ibadan for showing similar symptoms.
The management of the factory reportedly quarantined him to prevent the spread of the virus. He was, however, released when he tested negative to it.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government has said it is on red alert to guard against the outbreak of the dreaded virus in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Basir Bello, said the need for caution came following the first reported case of the virus in the neighbouring Lagos State.
Osun, Imo, Edo, FCT move to prevent virus
Meanwhile, state governments, including Osun, Imo and Edo as well as the Federal Capital Territory have begun moves to prevent the dreaded coronavirus in their areas.
Osun State Government on Friday inaugurated a committee for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus into the state.
The state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, who inaugurated the committee on Friday, said the 15-man committee would also carry out mobilisation and awareness about the virus in the state.
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, also ordered the activation of all health platforms to protect Imo citizens from the dreaded disease.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has also assured residents of adequate preparation to curtail coronavirus.
The Director, FCT Primary Health Care, Josephine Okechukwu, said passengers coming from foreign countries through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport were being thoroughly screened.
Meanwhile, a combined team of experts from the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria; Nigerian Red Cross; and other stakeholders will on Monday commence the screening of travellers using the Benin Airport for coronavirus.
The Chairman of the Red Cross in Edo State, Festus Alenkhe, said the screening of passengers at the airport was aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile the Edo State Government said it had stepped up measures to sensitise residents to check the spread of the virus.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia, while addressing journalists in Benin on Friday said the state government had already put measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Panic as market capitalisation loses N308bn
Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday ended in a panic mode, as the country recorded its first case of coronavirus.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the panic mode affected trading on the exchange, with the market recording only two gainers against 41 losers.
Consequently, the market capitalisation lost N308bn, representing a loss of 2.21 per cent in about six hours to close at N13.657tn against N13.965tn on Thursday.
Also, the All-Share Index which opened at 26,808.24 shed 591.78 points or 2.21 per cent to close at 26,216.46.
World’s biggest travel fair cancelled over coronavirus
The world’s acclaimed leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin, has been cancelled as the novel coronavirus rampages across the world.
The travel fair, which was earlier scheduled to take place between March 4-8, 2020, was expected to feature more than 10,000 companies from 181 countries exhibiting their products and services to around 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors.
As of Friday, Germany has quarantined more than 1,000 people suspected to have Coronavirus. More than 83,000 have been infected globally.