As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to take its toll on several countries across the globe, the federal government of Nigeria on Monday confirmed the second case of the virus in the country.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement at a press conference in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Mr Ehanire said this case was detected in one of the contacts traced from the index case. He also confirmed that the case was not imported, when compared to the previous case.
Speaking about the development, the Minister stated: “It is my duty, therefore, to announce a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria.”
According to reports, the latest case is an Ogun State contact of the index case, but he has no significant clinical symptoms.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is one of the six African countries that have reported at least a case of Coronavirus on the continent.
Nigeria recorded her first case of Coronavirus on February 27, in an Italian businessman who flew into the country for business.
It was gathered that the Italian had spent two days in the country and visited Lagos and Ogun state before he fell ill. Diagnoses confirmed that he had contacted Covid-19. He has since been isolated and placed under treatment.
“He presently does not have any clinical symptoms, is comfortable and in care at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos,” Ehanire said.
However, as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the government had begun contacting tracing of every individual who had been suspected of having contact with the index case.
According to the situation report from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
However, NCDC said the new case was detected in one of the traced contacts, although the individual had no significant clinical symptoms as of the time of detection.
This, according to NCDC, brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, on Monday, to two.
NCDC said: “One of the important response strategies at the containment stage has been to identify all contacts, ensure their strict isolation, and to follow up daily with checks for any symptoms of the disease.
The Centre said that it took the advice of recent experience from other countries and evident from newly published studies on non-symptomatic infections that samples should be taken from all contacts of the index case for testing.
“It is in this process that these two cases were detected,” confirmed NCDC.
NCDC said 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
On March 8, scientists confirmed the presence of coronavirus in one of the contacts.
Mr Ehanire said all other contacts of the index case in Ogun and Lagos will remain in isolation and testing will be carried out on those not yet tested, including some in other states.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Health, the Lagos and Ogun States Ministries of Health are committed to bringing to control the spread of the virus.
“Since the first case was confirmed in Nigeria on February 27, the National Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) in Abuja, continues to work closely with Lagos and Ogun State EOCs, to coordinate response activities.
“I again strongly advise against spreading misinformation to cause fear and panic,” he said.