The Federal Government said it has quickly dispatched a team of surveillance and rapid response officials across the country following a confirmed case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in the country.
It reassured Nigerians that its monitoring systems would strongly ensure that the virus does not spread beyond the first patient or possibly, few other people that came in contact with the Italian patient.
Minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Friday, confirmed that a patient, an Italian, was said to had entered Nigeria with the virus on February 25 from Milan, Italy.
He was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the laboratory network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The miinister,7 however appealed to Nigerians not to panic, with a reassurances that government was prepared to ensure the virus doesn’t escalate as it had by beefed up its preparedness capabilities and equally deployed resources to respond to the case.
In his words: “The Federal Ministry of Health, through NCDC will continue to provide updates and will continuously initiate Nigerians on measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria.”
He, however, disclosed that a multi-sectoral coronavirus preparedness team led by NCDC had activated national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and would work closely with Lagos State health authorities to respond to the confirmed case and implement firm control measures.
He added: “I wish to assure Nigerians that we have beefed up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we would use available resources to respond to the case.”
The minister urged Nigerians to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, in his remarks, explained that a rapid response team had also been deployed to Lagos State where the first case of coronavirus was detected few days ago, and other parts of the country to manage the situation adequately.
He suggested to health facilities across the country to remain on high alert, and also encouraged Nigerians to strictly adopt healthy and clean environmental practices.
He said: “We would continue to keep Nigerians informed. However, it’s important for Nigerians to be focused on facts and not fear. Nigerians should protect themselves by staying calm, drinking lots of water.”