Fears over the dreaded Corona virus disease has gripped Nigerians with many calling on government to ensure that the disease does not enter the country.
The Federal Government recently released N386million to two health agencies to strengthen Coronavirus (COVID19) preparedness in Nigeria.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulaziz, had disclosed to newsmen while providing updates on the preparedness for Coronavirus and Lassa Fever in the country, on Friday in Abuja.
But Nigerians want more stringent measure to be meted out on persons coming into the country, especially from China and other countries where the virus had been reported, as a way of nip the virus in the bud.
They want the government to quarantine people just coming into the country from “anywhere” check them and ensure that they are virus free before admitting them into the country.
Ten days after some Chinese nationals tested negative to corona virus in Nigeria, another national of China has undergone test for the disease.
According to the Group Medical Director (GMD) of Reddington Hospital group, Dr Olutunde Lalude, a Chinese national who arrived in Nigeria seven weeks ago underwent test for Corona virus in Lagos on Wednesday.
Lalude said the man presented himself at the hospital while complaining of fever, one of the symptoms of coronavirus.
He said as a precautionary measure, the man was isolated while health authorities in the state were alerted.
The doctor said the patient was subsequently transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the state ahead of the results of the tests, which he said would be available on Friday.
He also dismissed the rumour that a coronavirus victim was admitted in the hospital, saying “the risk is thought to be low and so far patient has not been diagnosed with the disease”.
“It has come to the attention of the management of the Reddington hospital that rumours are circulating on social media of a case of corona virus (COVID-19) at the Reddington hospital Ikeja. We would like to assure the public that there has been NO confirmed case of corona virus at ANY of the branches of the Reddington hospital as at today 26 February 2020,” Lalude said in a statement.
“In the early hours of Wednesday 26 February 2020, a Chinese national presented to Reddington Hospital, Ikeja complaining of fever. Following standard protocol it was ascertained that he had arrived in Nigeria from China seven weeks ago and had not been in contact with anyone else who might have corona virus. As a precautionary measure, staff immediately isolated him in accordance with the hospital’s standard operating procedure for potential corona virus patients.
“The state public health authorities were promptly informed and involved. Despite the risk being assessed to be relatively low according to the currently available science regarding incubation period, blood samples were taken using full prescribed precautions and sent to the Lagos State authorised virology laboratory for analysis and diagnosis. The results of the tests will be available tomorrow. The patient has been transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Lagos while the results of the tests are awaited.
“The Reddington team acted in a highly professional manner and in absolute compliance with international standards. We thank all staff for their diligence and professionalism in dealing with this case.”
There are more than 80,000 cases of the disease worldwide. On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said the virus is now spreading faster outside China than in it.
Coronavirus first broke out in China late last year. It has now spread to every continent in the world aside Antarctica where no human being lives.