Coronavirus: NCDC deploys response team to Lagos

*No country is free from virus – WHO


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has deployed its Rapid Response Teams to support the Lagos State Government, as Nigeria records first case of the Coronavirus (COVID19).

The Federal Ministry of Health had in early hour of Friday morning confirmed a case of coronavirus (Covid-19) case in Lagos.

The case was the first to be reported in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa since the outbreak of the virus in China.

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Disclosing this in a tweet @NCDCgov, the Director General of the Centre, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the centre, being proactive had earlier set up @NCDCgov to work 24 hours to ensure that the country is on top of the situation.

“We are dealing with a new virus. There are 47 countries that have reported at least 1 case

“A case is not a sign of failure. Our @NCDCgov. was set up for situations like this. We are working 24/7 with the relevant state governments”

He warned Nigerians to avoid rumours and panic.

No country should assume it won’t get cases – WHO

Meanwhile the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has disclosed that as of 6 am Geneva time Friday, China has reported a total of 78,630 cases of COVID-19 to WHO, including 27,47 deaths even as he warned that no country should assume it won’t get cases.

Speaking during one of the virtual press briefings “Outside China, the Director General said there are now 3474 cases in 44 countries, and 54 deaths. We are at a decisive point.”

He added that for the past two days, the number of new cases reported in the rest of the world has exceeded the number of new cases in China.

“And in the past 24 hours, seven countries have reported cases for the first time: Brazil, Georgia, Greece, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan and Romania.”

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He advised countries affected that they should see it as their window of opportunity, adding that if they act aggressively now, they can contain the spread of the virus.

“You can prevent people getting sick. You can save lives. So my advice to these countries is to move swiftly.

“The epidemics in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea demonstrate what this virus is capable of. But this virus is not influenza. With the right measures, it can be contained. That is one of the key messages from China.”

“In Guangdong, scientists tested more than 320,000 samples from the community and only 0.14 percent tested positive for COVID-19. That suggests that containment is possible.

“No country should assume it won’t get cases. That could be a fatal mistake, quite literally. This virus does not respect borders. It does not distinguish between races or ethnicities. It has no regard for a country’s GDP or level of development.

“The point is not only to prevent cases arriving on your shores. The point is what you do when you have cases.”

He, however, stated that they are not hopeless and defenseless because there are things every country and every person can do.

He challenged countries to be ready to detect cases early, to isolate patients, trace contacts, provide quality clinical care, prevent hospital outbreaks, and prevent community transmission.

He disclosed that the virus was not usually a runny nose but in 90 percent of cases it’s a fever and in 70 percent of cases a dry cough.

“We’ve shipped testing kits to 57 countries and personal protective equipment to 85 countries who need it. We have trained more than 80,000 health workers through our online courses, in multiple languages. We’ve issued operational guidelines, with concrete actions countries can take in eight key areas to prevent, detect and manage cases.

He warned that fear and panic does not help, the most important thing is to calm down and do the right things to fight this very dangerous virus.


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