By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos has recorded a new case of Coronavirus disease COVID-19, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to three.
According to the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the third confirmed case is a 30-year old Nigerian who returned from the United Kingdom on March 13 on a British Airways flight BA75, having spent 10 days in the United Kingdom and had been on self-isolation before developing fever and high cough.
Abayomi stated that the patient had complied strictly with isolation principles, which makes contact tracing less cumbersome, adding that she had been admitted to the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, where she is receiving care at the moment.
“She developed high fever and cough during her self- isolation period, which she started immediately she arrived in the country. She was tested positive and was admitted last night at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba,” he said.
The Commissioner explained further that the immediate family members of the newly confirmed case have since been isolated in a family suite with separate rooms at the Mainland Hospital, adding that their samples have been taken and results are being expected before the end of the day.
Abayomi, while noting that the state government is not relenting in the fight against the spread of the virus, said contact tracing for all passengers on British airline that the patient travelled on, has commenced.
He, however, advised all those on the passenger flight BA75 to isolate themselves in their various residents and contact the Ministry of Health on the dedicated toll free and emergency lines for assistance.
Said he, “If you are a passenger on British airline flight BA 75 that arrived in Lagos on 13th March, 2020, stay at home and isolate yourself for 14 days and call the Ministry of Health Toll Free and Emergency.”
The Commissioner advised citizens to practice the principle of social distancing in their daily activities as a measure to help curtail the spread of the disease. He urged members of the public to keep long possible distance between people, avoid body contact, shaking hands and unnecessary social gatherings.
“During this period, we should keep long possible distance between people, avoid body contact, hand handshakes and we should only attend necessary social gathering. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze.” He said
While giving update on the index case being managed at the Mainland General Hospital, Yaba, Abayomi noted that the patient remains on admission, although in excellent condition but he is still secreting a very small amount of the virus.
“He is in excellent condition; we are only keeping him because he still has some secretion of the virus which was revealed in the test carried on him yesterday. Test shows that anytime from now, he may be negative. We want to make sure we follow protocol and be sure he no longer secretes the virus before we discharge him,” he said.
On the second case, the Commissioner stated that the patient who had contact with the index case in Lafarge factory, was negative and has been discharged from the hospital as there is no longer any trace of the virus in him.
The Commissioner assured members of the public not to panic as the state government is in control and will continue to respond swiftly and take necessary actions to contain the spread of the disease in the state.
He added that the state government will continue to strengthen its surveillance, adding that the state has also introduced a toll-free line – 08000CORONA in addition to the already existing emergency lines. He enjoined residents to call the new line and other existing emergency lines –0805978886, 08035387653, 08028971864, 08023169485,08033565529 and 08052817243 to report suspicion and get accurate information on COVID19Lagos.