Coronavirus 2019 News Updates

Nigeria frees 42 contacts of Italian index case

Nigerian health authorities today, 13 March 2020, cleared and discharged 42 persons who were rounded up and quarantined because they made contact with the Italian who tested positive to Coronavirus in Lagos.

“The only reason we are keeping (the Italian index case) is because our tests confirm he is still secreting small amount of virus which means that he is potentially still contagious.”

Lagos Health Commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi

The authorities had swiftly rounded up everyone suspected to have come in contact with the patient on arrival in Lagos and quarantined them for a mandatory period of 14 days to watch if they would show signs of having contracted the dreaded virus.

Nigeria’s Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ohanire, told journalists that all those who have been isolated for observation have completed their follow up checks and are now certified free to go back into society.

This means that none of them have shown signs of the virus.

The minister also said that the health situation of the infected Italian has improved but that he would require additional tests by next week before the medical team can take the decision to discharge him.

“The only reason we are keeping him is because our tests confirm he is still secreting small amount of virus which means that he is potentially still contagious,” Lagos Health Commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi, explained in a tweet.

The Federal Health Minister however stressed that the world is not out of the woods yet on the virus challenge which the World Health Organisation has upgraded from an epidemic to a pandemic.

A pandemic describes a disease which spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world, according to Websters Dictionary.

A total of 118,326 cases have so far been reported, as at Wednesday 11 March 2020, with death toll climbing to 4,292 worldwide.

The virus has spread to a total of 114 countries in the world, including 12 of Africa’s 54 countries. African countries that have reported the virus include Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cote d’Ivoire.

“This is a call for action for increased resources to quickly detect and control this outbreak,” the Minister said.

He asked Nigerian citizens not to fear or panic.

“We are investing resources to strengthen Nigeria’s response,” he said.

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