Barring any unexpected changes, the Italian businessman that brought in coronavirus (Covid-19) into Nigeria will be discharged early next week because he is clinically stable and much improved.
Also, the second confirmed case, who is a contact of the index case has also tested negative for the virus, meaning that he has cleared the virus and will soon be allowed to go home.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who announced the development in Abuja, yesterday, added that a group of four children and their teacher that flew into Lagos from the United States were also sent into isolation on their arrival because Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was informed by US Centre for Disease Control (US-CDC) that they had been in the same space with a confirmed case.
He explained that tests have been conducted on the children and their teacher and it came back negative for all of them. “However, they would stay in self-isolation for 14 days. After 14 days of follow-up with no symptoms, all contacts of the index case would be permitted to go home and rejoin society,” the minister said.
He reassured Nigerians that the Ministry was monitoring the global situation closely and also getting advice and guidance from World Health Organization (WHO), as regards response.
“The Port Health Services would always prioritise measures for the containment of COVID-19, especially the screening of passengers at points of entry,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister insisted that Nigerian government has not taken decision to place a travel ban on any country, passport or flight into Nigeria, and urged Nigerians and global community to disregard any contrary information.
In a related development, the Lagos State government has discharged the 179 cases identified and placed on isolation, after proven to have had contact with the index case, an Italian citizen who brought coronavirus into the country.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, while giving an update at a briefing on yesterday said, of the 179 people who had contact with the index case, 40 of them were quarantined in Ogun State, while the remaining were monitored in Lagos State.
According to him, “initially, 179 contacts with the Italian were traced and that since they had exceeded the mandatory 14 days isolation, they had to be discharged as none of them developed any symptom of the disease. He, however, disclosed that the index case will remain in admission.
“The index case is perfectly well now, we are only keeping him because our test confirmed that he is still secreting some of the virus, which means he is still potentially contagious.
“Our test suggests that any moment from now his immune system will clear the infection and the moment we pick that up, if he is negative, we will conduct another test within 48 hours after and if he is still negative, he will be discharged likewise. We are close to discharging the index case, we want to be sure he poses no danger to society anymore.”
On the Nigerian who was initially tested positive to coronavirus for being in contact with the index case, Abayomi said he had now been tested negative twice and might have been released by now.
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Meanwhile, the remaining contacts in Ogun and Lagos State remain symptom-free and they have exceeded 14 days surveillance, which means that we have been able to interrupt the transmission between the index case and others. The index case, with its threat to Nigeria has been eliminated.
Also, the four children and their teacher quarantined recently, the commissioner disclosed that they had been discharged, as they all tested negative to the virus, likewise another man from the US who was earlier quarantined.
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