The Federal Government on Monday advised Nigerians not to panic as the country now has a second Coronavirus (Covid-19) case.
It said the latest carrier of the virus is one of the 62 directs contacts of the Italian index case in Lagos and Ogun states, who are currently on isolation.
The good news, according to the Federal Government, is that a team of Nigerian researchers has successfully performed the genome sequencing of the Coronavirus strain that the index case brought into Nigeria.
The breakthrough said Health Minister Osagie Ehanire, has already received the commendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr. Ehanire announced the new CoviD-19 case at a news conference at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin, Edo State.
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He, however, did not give the identity of the latest carrier who is presently at the Centre for Disease Control in Yaba, Lagos. That of the Italian index case has been a subject of controversy since his case was confirmed on February 27.
Ehanire explained that the second victim, a male, had contact at work in Ewekoro, Ogun State with the Italian, who is being managed at the Yaba disease control centre.
The Health minister, in company with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki; and board Chairman, Bashorun Adedoja Adewolu, also clarified that the second case was not the driver who drove the index case from Lagos to Ewekoro.
Maintaining that many persons who had contact with the Italian were still being traced by experts, he urged Nigerians and foreigners in the country not to panic since health professionals and other stakeholders were working round the clock to address developments.
At the news conference, the first to be held outside Abuja, since the outbreak of the deadly virus, Ehanire stated that the genome breakthrough by a team of Nigerian researchers, led by top scientists of the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos, was the first time the sequencing of the virus had been performed in Africa.
He revealed that the result of the scientific research had been shared with international authorities, especially WHO whose Director-General had extended congratulations to the Nigerian scientists for the achievement.
Ehanire said: “A total of 217 contacts were linked to the index case. Of the 217, 45 travelled out of Nigeria and 172 contacts are presently in Nigeria. Of the 172 contacts currently in Nigeria, 69 are in Lagos, 40 in Ogun and 52 in other states, with 11 in unknown locations.
“Contact tracing and monitoring in respect of the Coronavirus index case, presently receiving treatment in Lagos, has been diligently and conscientiously pursued since the 27th of February, when the case was first diagnosed.
“As you know, 40 persons in Ogun and 22 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
“Nevertheless, the Federal Ministry of Health, following best practice, decided to test these persons for possible presence of coronavirus in their systems. On 8th March, 2020, scientists confirmed the presence of coronavirus in one of the contacts.”
“Nevertheless, the Federal Ministry of Health, following best practice, decided to test these persons for possible presence of Coronavirus in their systems. On the 8th of March, scientists confirmed the presence of Coronavirus in one of the contacts.
“It is my duty therefore to announce a new case of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. The newly-confirmed case is an Ogun State contact of the index case, but he has no significant clinical symptoms. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria today (yesterday) to two. (The Nation)