A second case of coronavirus infection has been recorded in Ogun State, Minster of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has confirmed.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Ehanire said: “It is my duty therefore to announce a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. The newly confirmed case is an Ogun State contact of the index case, but he has no significant clinical symptoms. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria today to two.”
He stressed that “the newly confirmed case in Nigeria is not a new importation, but a contact of the Index case, who has since been in isolation and was under clinical follow up. He presently does not have any clinical symptoms, is comfortable and in care at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos.
Recent studies in China have shown that increased surveillance, self isolation and in particular, contact tracing do reduce risk of spread, because further opportunities for transmission of the virus by the infected patient in the community are limited.
According to the minister, “all other contacts of the index case in Ogun and Lagos will remain in isolation and testing will be carried out on those not yet tested, including some in other states.”
On the case reported in the US of Nigerian origin, he said health authorities “are in touch with colleagues at the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and here in Abuja. The case visited Lagos in February 2020. However, given the timelines between the time he was in Nigeria briefly and when he became ill, the likelihood that he was infected in Lagos is very low.”
He added: “The Federal Ministry of Heath, and Lagos and Ogun States Health Ministries assure citizens of our commitment to do all needed to control spread of this outbreak. Since the first case was confirmed in Nigeria on 27th of February 2020, the National Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) in Abuja, continues to work closely with Lagos and Ogun State EOCs to coordinate response activities.
“I again strongly advise against spreading misinformation to cause fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC will continue to provide prompt and reliable updates and initiate all measures required to protect our people.
“A globally emerging lesson here is that some people who contracted COVID-19 appear to experience zero or only mild illness and will recover; however, other patients develop more severe symptoms, especially if they have other underlying illnesses, or are weakened by old age.
He also disclosed that “contact tracing and monitoring in respect of the coronavirus index case presently receiving treatment in Lagos, has been diligently and conscientiously pursued since 27 February when the case was first diagnosed. As you know, 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since. Nevertheless, the Federal Ministry of Health, following best practice, decided to test these persons for possible presence of coronavirus in their systems. On 8th March 2020, scientists confirmed the presence of coronavirus in one of the contacts.
He said “a team of researchers from various institutions in Nigeria, including scientists from the Centre for Human and Zoology Virology in LUTH, African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Lagos, combined their efforts to successfully perform the genome sequencing of the coronavirus strain that the index case brought to Nigeria and proved it to be a match with the virus circulating in Italy and Wuhan. This was coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health and NCDC. It is the first time the sequencing of this virus has been performed in Africa. The result has been shared with International Authorities and the Director General of the World Health Organization has extended congratulations to Nigerian scientists for this achievement.”