Nigeria confirms first case of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa

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    Nigerian authorities say the Italian patient – who had flown in from Milan, a city badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak – is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

    The patient was screened when he arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Tuesday and did not show any symptoms of the virus, according to Nigerian health authorities.

    They have obtained the passenger manifest from the airline and started tracking people who had contact with the patient, Health Minister Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire said.

    He added that there was no need for alarm as Nigeria was well prepared to deal with the disease, adding that the country had four laboratories where patients can be tested.

    At least 60 doctors have been deployed to Lagos’s main airport to support the ongoing screening effort.

    The authorities also say Nigeria was not planning to halt flights from affected countries; nor planning to quarantine those travelling into the country.

    Health authorities are advising people to regularly and thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers, to avoid contracting the virus.

    People have also been told to stay home if they have persistent coughs and sneezes, and contact authorities if they have any concerns.

    However, the president of the Nigeria Medical Association has expressed fears over the safety of health workers in the country.

    The association has directed all its members to treat every single case as a possible coronavirus infection, Dr Francis Faduyile told the BBC.

    Nigeria was widely praised for its efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in 2014 which killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa.

    Source: CNN News

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