NCDC sends coronavirus Rapid Response Team to Lagos: Health Minister

February 28, 2020
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Health Minister Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has deployed its Rapid Response Teams to support the Lagos State Government, as Nigeria records its first case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Both the health minister, Osagie Ehanire and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC said the agency has also ”escalated the multi-sectoral coronavirus preparedness group to an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), at Level II to lead response activities”.

Nigeria’s coronavirus patient is the third confirmed case in Africa.

At a press briefing in Abuja today, Ehanire said “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has activated its national Emergency Operations Centre & is working with Lagos State Ministry of Health to manage this case and implement firm control measures.”

“Nigerians are advised to keep calm. The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

“We have begun identifying and reaching out to possible contacts of the case in Nigeria,” the minister said.

The patient, an Italian arrived Nigeria from Italy on 25 February on a short business visit. He fell ill and was confirmed to have the virus on 27 February at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He has been placed in isolation.

Ihekweazu said that health facilities must remain on high alert, while also assuring Nigerians of their safety against COVID-19.

”The NCDC will continue to keep Nigerians informed. It is important for them to be focused on facts and not fear.

”Nigerians should protect themselves by staying calm, and by drinking lots of water.

He said Nigerians should frequently wash their hands, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, practice respiratory hygiene and if anyone have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, he should seek medical care early.

Ihekweazu assured Nigerians, that with appropriate information, treatment and precautions, Nigeria will beat COVID-19 like it beat Ebola.

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