Four days after the first confirmation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed “sadness” at the development, asking Nigerians not to panic “as undue alarm would do us more harm than good.”
President Buhari regretted the Thursday confirmation of COVID-19 disease “despite the ardent efforts of the government regarding preparedness and response measures put in place in our country’s borders and beyond.”
The President however commends the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies “whose diligence and efficiency enabled the case to be detected, diagnosed and isolated quickly, even while swift measures were taken to identify and follow up on those with whom the index patient came into contact.”
In a statement by Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, President Buhari called for “vigilance on the part of all citizens and responsible government agencies. Instead, Nigerians should strictly observe the advisories disseminated by the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the best way to prevent infection.”
This is just as the number of quarantined persons following the outbreak of the disease in nigeria is now 43. While the number of persons who have contacted with the confirmed Coronavirus disease has increased to 39 as against 28 on Friday, four Chinese nationals are being quarantined in Plateau State, Northcentral Nigeria.
The 39 quarantined in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria are those that have had contact with the Italian when he visited Lafarge Africa facility in Ewekoro, Ogun State. They include the driver who picked him from a hotel in Ikeja and those served him food and drink.
Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Ndam, said that the four Chinese nationals quarantined were miners working in Wase Local Government Area of the State, adding that “they are four nationals. One arrived on February 25 while the three others arrived on February 26. On questioning them, they said they came from China, enroute Addis Ababa Airport to Abuja airport, where they were screened by health officials.”
Currently, four laboratories in Nigeria can diagnose COVID-19, namely National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC’s) National Reference Laboratory, the Virology Laboratory of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo and African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in Ede, Osun State.