Enyeribe Ejiogu, Fred Itua, Molly Kilete, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Ndubuisi Orji, Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja, Moshood Adebayo and Doris Obinna
As Nigeria battles to check the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus diseases, 48 new suspected cases – nine expatriates and 39 Nigerians- have been announced and quarantined in Cross River and Plateau states.
Nigeria’s first confirmed index case of COVID-19 was reported on Friday, February 27. It involved an Italian, who worked for a vendor providing services to a multinational firm in Ogun State. At least, 39 persons who had contact with the Italian have been quarantined.
The disease, since its outbeak in China in December 2019, has claimed more than 2,000.
Plateau, yesterday, announced that 43 persons have been quarantined in Wase Local Government Area for investigation to forestall the spread. The 43 persons were those who had contact with four Chinese miners, who recently returned to the state from China en route Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Commissioner of health, Dr. Nimkong Ndam made this known during a press briefing in Jos, yesterday.
He said the isolation was for a period of 14 days, to ascertain if they would manifest symptoms of the virus.
The Chinese who arrived on Tuesday included the leader of a mining team residing in Wase town, while the other two live in Bakin Kaya, a mining site outside Wase town.
“The other three Chinese live in a compound with 13 Nigerians, who also have been isolated, pending investigations, making a total of 18 persons isolated in Bakin Kaya,” he said.
A government source said Governor Simon Lalong was informed by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) of three Chinese nationals, who arrived Nigeria and were heading to Jos, which led to the setting up of a team comprising health officials and security agents to monitor them.
Ndam said the state had isolation units in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and Plateau Specialist Hospital, in case of an outbreak of the disease in the state.
Similarly, five foreign nationals have been placed under observation in Cross River State.
Commissioner for health, Beta Edu, disclosed this on Saturday, saying two of the foreigners were from Europe, one from India and two from China. Edu said none of them has shown any symptoms so far, adding that health officials have been deployed in entry points to the state as a precaution: “We profiled five foreigners who came in from locations that have recorded the virus and they came in through Lagos that morning (Friday).
“We got their biodata and asked them to self-isolate. And of course we gave them the thermometer and got their contacts. We have been following up with them.
“Our isolation centre is ready and protocols have been sent to all health workers. Special protective equipment has been sent to all health workers, the army, paramilitary agencies and private practitioners across the state.”
Senate: Quarantine travellers from volatile countries
The Senate, yesterday, instructed the various government agencies to rise up to the occasion and conduct thorough search on all people coming into the country.
It said the air and seaports, the two major entry points into the country, must be guarded, going forward, to stop carriers of the virus from entering Nigeria.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, Chukwuka Utazi told Daily Sun, that visits to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the Apapa Seaport, both in Lagos, revealed that the various agencies responsible for management of the outbreak were not prepared.
He said their visit showed that government officials were not conducting thorough searches on people coming into the country, contrary to what was obtainable in other countries.
Utazi said the development compelled them to raise the alarm and draw the attention of Nigerians to the development. He said the alarm led to the eventual checks conducted by government officials.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has vowed not to cease praying until it is chased out of Nigeria.
Joseph Daramola, general-secretary of the association, said God would help Nigeria overcome the virus as it did Ebola.
“The God who answered our prayers when the Ebola virus disease, which is deadlier, came calling, is still on the throne and that same God will also grant us victory over the Covid-19, in Jesus Name,” he said in a statement.
The Christian body called on government to rise up to the challenge of preventing the spread of the novel Covid-19 “now that the country has recorded its first case.”
Safety professionals evoke Adadevoh’s spirit
The Nigeria chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has evoked the spirit of patriotism shown by Dr. Stella Adadevoh and other personalities whose vigilance in the wake of the Ebola epidemic saved Nigeria from horrendous calamity, even as it commended the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State government for the early detection and management of the lone confirmed Coronavirus case.
The safety professionals, in a statement signed by the president of the Nigerian chapter of ASSP, Nsikak A. Ekam, praised the NCDC, saying, “Our astute physicians are key to Nigeria’s success in case management. The doctor got in touch with NCDC when he found out the index case had just come from Milan, Italy, collected a sample, tested it and isolated him in a facility in Lagos as per pre-planned protocol that manages infectious diseases.”
Alluding to the Ebola incident in the past, the group said: “Nigeria successfully managed Ebola and manages outbreaks all the time and is currently managing Lassa fever. Prevention, early detection and prompt response to infectious disease outbreak are key to a successful containment.”
Sanwo-Olu meets govs of neighbouring states
Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has again re-assured Nigerians that the State remained committed to every effort geared towards preventing the human-to-human transmission of the virus. He said there were counter measures in place against it.
The Governor, who disclosed this in a statement said both the State and Federal Government healthcare officials had been working round the clock with infectious disease control professionals from the international agencies to ensure the counter measures being deployed to contain the virus achieved the desired results.
Sanwo-Olu who visited the state-owned bio-security and containment facility at Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, Lagos Mainland, where the Italian national diagnosed with COVID-19 is being managed, said he would be meeting with governors of neighbouring states today to draw up strategies in scaling up advocacy on the virus among people and also to design more community-based approaches that would prevent the spread of the virus. There also would be meetings with local government officials and transport workers’ unions, the Governor said.
Over 50% without fever, research reveals
Over 50 percent of patients admitted to hospitals so far have been found to be without fever, a research has revealed.
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, disclosed this in the March 2, 2020, edition of the “Newsletter on Fighting COVID-19” made available to Daily Sun in Abuja.
The findings originally published by the New England Journal of Medicine on its website on February 28, 2020, disclosed that a lot of the coronavirus patients never had abnormal radiologic findings.
Zhong Nanshan, a renowned scientist who headed a government-appointed panel of experts to help control the coronavirus outbreak, led the research, according to China Daily.
The journal revealed that just 43.8 percent of patients of coronavirus have been discovered to have fever on admission, adding that the ratio rose to 88.7 percent while in the hospital.
The China Daily reported the New England Journal of Medicine to have posted that “Coughs were detected in 67.8 percent of the patients, making it the most common symptoms alongside fever, and diarrhea was uncommon (3.8 percent).
“Lymphocytopenia was detected in 83.2 percent of the patients on admission and no radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9 percent) with mild symptoms and in five of 173 patients (2.9 percent) with severe disease. “