The National Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday said Nigeria’s laboratory capacity could deal with the new coronavirus if it found its way into the country.
The NCDC also said the Federal Ministry of Health Port Health Services was on alert at the nation’s borders because of the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China.
It stressed that the World Health Organisation had notified Nigeria of the possibility of the disease spreading to countries outside the Asia.
In a message released by the centre on Monday, the NCDC said the disease was capable of causing death, while calling on travellers from China to visit a medical facility or any of the centre’s offices if they fell ill.
It said, “The NCDC is aware of the ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. We have received guidance from the World Health Organisation, noting that the risk of spread to countries outside the region is low. The Federal Ministry of Health’s Port Health Services is on alert at points of entry.
“Common signs of coronavirus infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, kidney failure and death. Travellers from Wuhan, China to Nigeria are advised to report to a medical facility and NCDC if they feel ill.”
Speaking during the inspection of the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, the NCDC Laboratory Networn Adviser, Celestina Obiekea, said the country had ordered the re-agent of the virus in order to develop the capacity to test the sample.
She said, “We have the equipment but the question now is that do we have the re-agent? For coronavirus, we are expecting a shipment of the re-agent. Before now, it was not realy a concern. Even in China, they were not thinking about it. This is why global information is important. We know that our port of entry is porous and possible for someone infected to come in.
“One of the things that this has done for us is to put us on the alert and put appropriate measure in place. What we have done now is to request for the re-agent to be ale to do the testing like we did for Ebola.”
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