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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

COVID-19: Chinese tests negative, 41 of 159 Italian co-travellers found



A Chinese man  arrived Lagos on Monday aboard Ethiopian Airline and suspected to have COVID-19 has tested negative for the disease, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said.

Abayomi who disclosed this on Tuesday while giving an update on the management and control of COVID-19 outbreak in Lagos State, said the Chinese was taken into isolation after exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

According to him, samples were collected from the patient and the test, which turned out negative, was carried out the Lagos State Bio-security Level 3 laboratory located within the premises of Mainland Hospital.
Abayomi assured that the State Government was in control and not relenting in the fight against the spread of the infection.

He noted that the state government through the Ministry of Health will not take chances at the slightest suspicion of the disease, adding that surveillance teams have been placed on high alert for this purpose.

However, on the index case, the Italian who is currently being managed at the Mainland General Hospital, the commissioner said he is stable, responding favourably to treatment and has not developed major complications.

He stressed that the patient will remain at the Mainland Hospital for management until it is ascertained that he no longer secrets the virus.

He revealed that three tests had been carried out on the Italian and that the fourth test would be conducted on Wednesday.

Abayomi stated that the hotel where the man lodged in Lagos had been decontaminated, while the person who lodged in the same room after he left has been line listed and being monitored.
He said six people had contact with the Italian at the hotel, adding that of the 159 passengers aboard the plane the Italian came into the country with, 66 of them were Lagos bound, while the rest might have gone to other states.

Abayomi added that of the 66 passengers who alighted in Lagos, 41 of them had been traced and were being monitored, while 25 others had not been reached.

The Commissioner also appealed to residents to stop coming up with or sharing fake news and misinformation about suspected cases of COVID-19 as it drains resources and energy that should be deployed in checking the spread of real cases.
Abayomi said such acts were also distracting the Ministry and the State Government.

He added that the medical team was wasting a lot of energy on fake news as it took a lot of manpower because the team usually would investigate the suspected cases mentioned on social media.
According to him, the State Government was forging ahead to make the state and Nigeria safe as it was putting contingency plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Commissioner said the Lagos State Government was also training medical practitioners in Ogun State as well as helping other states to build their capacity on the containment of the virus.

Abayomi stated that Lagos State is ready and willing to assist any State that may need its assistance in the fight against the virus as the spread of the disease is a public health issue that could affect the Lagos if not properly managed in other states.

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