Federal Ministry Of Information Releases Frequently Asked Questions And Answers On Coronavirus

March 1, 2020


The Federal Ministry Of Information and Culture has released frequent asked Questions (FAQ) about Coronavirus and and ways to stay safe from the ravaging virus. This information was posted on the ministry’s twitter handle.

See below:

1. What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people. The COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

It was first reported to @WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

2. What is the source of COVID-19?

Scientists and public health officials are working hard to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

The initial transmission appeared to be from an animal source, but there has been person-to-person transmission in countries.

The virus can spread from one person to another, most likely through droplets of saliva or mucus.

3. Has anyone in Nigeria gotten infected?

Yes. The first case in Nigeria was confirmed on Friday, February 27, 2020 in Lagos in a business Italian traveller who arrived Nigeria on February 25, 2020 and became symptomatic on February 26, 2020.

Contact tracing is ongoing to identify everyone who has come in contact with the confirmed case.

4. What is Nigeria doing to control the spread of the disease in the country?

The Government of Nigeria, through the @Fmohnigeria has been strengthening measures to ensure Nigeria is prepared in the event of an outbreak. he multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by NCDC has been activated to a national Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate response activities. @NCDCgov is working with State Governments to identify and trace contacts of the confirmed case, in Nigeria.

The Port Health Services Division of the Department of Public Health has heightened screening and surveillance at the ports of entry, particularly for returning travellers with travel history to countries with ongoing transmission in the last 14 days.

Residents of the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Training Programme (NFELTP) are working closely with staff at Port Health Services to screen, review and analyse the forms used for screening at points of entry. This is also for contact tracing when needed.

5. Does Nigeria have the capacity to diagnose COVID-19?

Yes. There are four laboratories with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in Nigeria. The NCDC National Reference Laboratory; Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Irrua Teaching Hospital .and African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Ede, Osun State.

They are all in the @NCDCgov molecular laboratory network.

Health officials are advised to call 07032864444 for sample transportation and related advice if they have a case that fits the national case definition.

6. What is the national case definition for COVID-19?

Suspected Case
Any person (including severely ill patients) with any of the following symptoms: fever, cough or difficulty in breathing who within 14 days before the onset of illness had any of the following exposures:

History of travel to any country* with confirmed and ongoing community transmission of COVID-19 OR

• Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR

• Exposure to a healthcare facility where COVID-19 case(s) have been reported

Probable case
A suspect case for whom testing for COVID-19 is inconclusive or for whom testing was positive on a pan-coronavirus assay.

Confirmed case
A person with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection with or without signs and symptoms.

If you have a patient that matches the case definition above, please contact NCDC to arrange for sample collection and testing on 07032864444.

7. Where are the treatment centres in Nigeria?

In the last one month, @NCDCgov has conducted rapid assessments of potential treatment centres. This assessment focused on identifying gaps and developing plans to rapidly ensure that we are prepared to manage all cases.

Treatment centres are located in the five priority states with international airports; Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory.

Healthcare workers from these treatment centres have been trained on how to manage COVID-19 cases using approved guidelines.

8. Should I stop my children from going to school?

No. The current situation in the country does not warrant a shutdown of daily activities. During a pandemic, various measures are instituted depending on how serious the illness is and how easily it is spread from person to person.

At the moment, there is one confirmed case in Nigeria. Therefore, measures such as school closure or closure of large gatherings, are not required. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in a crowd.

9. Is there anything a person can do to avoid becoming infected?

To reduce the risk of infection or spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following hand and respiratory hygiene measures:

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water and use hand sanitisers frequently
• Cover your mouth and nose properly with tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing and immediately dispose of the tissue in a covered waste bin. After this, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
• You may also cough into your elbow if disposable tissue is not available. You are strongly advised not to re-use handkerchiefs
• If you become sick while travelling, you should avoid close contact with other people while you are symptomatic and cover your mouth and nose with a face mask
• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
• Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history

10. What can businesses do to protect their staff?

Businesses have an important role to play in protecting their employees. Employers are advised to circulate NCDC’s public health advisory on COVID-19 to all staff.

Encourage sick employees to stay at home if they are unwell. Ensure routine cleaning of high contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones.

If staff have travelled to any of the countries with ongoing transmission, they should be advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

*Countries with ongoing transmission as at February 28, 2020: China, Republic of Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan

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