It was joy and relief on Friday night as the unnamed Italian man who was the first to import the dreaded coronavirus into Nigeria was discharged and released for good from Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
The man who was the first to test positive for the virus now audaciously sweeping through Europe and Asia leaving in it trail death, and sorrow, tested positive to the virus on February 28 after he jetted into the country from Milan via Istanbul. He had lodged in a hotel in Ikeja, Lagos before proceeding to Lafarge Africa Plc, Ewekoro in Ogun state, on a business trip. Then, while at the facility, he took ill; and shortly after he tested positive for the dreaded virus.
But after his treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital, in Yaba, moments ago, he emerged from the hospital facility a happy, healthy man.
He was said to have donated some blood as mark of good gesture to help in the fight against the scourge.
Elated Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu while comment on the success so far achieved and the man’s release said: “The Italian gentleman who was the index case is now negative and is being discharged. Through a combined effort of Lagos State, Ogun State and Federal Health Authorities, we were able to limit the transmission of the virus to a single contact.
“This involved aggressive contact tracing and containment strategies. However, we now have several new imported cases and we hope we can apply the same contact tracing strategy along with social distancing to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from these new cases.
“The index patient consented to donating one unit of white blood (plasma) before he was discharged today. The blood plasma is rich in antibody proteins that target #COVID19 virus.
“The white blood plasma is frozen in our Bio-bank and will be useful in handling new cases. The blood plasma will be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for #COVID19 yet.
“The index patient appreciated the exceptional care and support given to him by staff of the mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, all members of the EOC/and the Lagos State government.
“The EOC team was extremely happy to bid the patient farewell. Once again, we like to convey the enthusiasm of our team to do the very best possible in handling incidents of Coronavirus.”