Nigeria confirms first case of coronavirus – health ministry

Nigeria confirms first case of coronavirus – health ministry

BY REUTERS ,LAGOS,28TH FEB 2020-Nigeria’s health ministry said on Friday it has confirmed a coronavirus case in Lagos state.

“The case which was confirmed on 27/02/2020 is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020,” the health ministry said in a post on Twitter.

The confirmed case is an Italian man who arrived in Nigeria three days ago.

The health minister Osagie Ehanire, in a statement, said the Italian citizen works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos on February 25.

His infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms,” said the minister, adding that he was being treated at a hospital in the Lagos district of Yaba.

“We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria,” said Ehanire.

FILE PHOTO: An official monitors thermal scanners as a passenger walks past upon arrival of a flight into Lagos, Nigeria January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

The minister said authorities have been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly.

There is no cure for the coronavirus, which can lead to pneumonia, and a vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop.

Radical quarantining measures have helped slow the rate of transmission in China of the virus, which can cause pneumonia, but it is picking up pace outside China.

Ehanire said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has 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.

A presidency spokesman did not immediately respond to phone calls and text messages seeking comment.

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