Following confirmation of the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria by the Federal Government, Edo State government says it has dispatched officials
to the Benin, airport to get the manifest of the airline that brought the victim to the country.
Patrick Okundia, the State Commissioner for Health, made this known on Friday at a press briefing in Benin City.
The Federal Ministry of Health had on Thursday confirmed the first case of the disease in the country since the outbreak started in China.
The Italian citizen who boarded a Turkish airline was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos State.
Briefing the press on the measures put in place to prevent the viral disease from spreading to the state, the commissioner said a team has been sent to the Benin airport to get information on the manifest of the airline that brought the Italian to the country.
Okundia said other measures put in place to prevent the viral disease from spreading to the state include sensitisation of the staff of Benin airport on the screening modalities of air travellers, sensitisation of healthcare workers across the health facilities in the 18 local government areas, and placing of surveillance officers on red alert at all points of entry to the state which include the Benin airport and various motor parks.
“There is ongoing awareness creation and sensitisation of the public on the novel coronavirus in various news media and sensitisation of health care workers across the health facilities in the 18 LGAs has commenced,” he said.
On the issue of a possible outbreak in the forthcoming National Sports Festival slated for March 22, 2020, the commissioner noted that proactive measures are in place to contain the virus.
“We are aware that 11,000 participants are coming into the state and we also know that apart from hosting, providing accommodation for them, we have a responsibility to ensure their health safety. Of course, while we do so, we are conscious of the fact that we do not want people to bring in the virus from outside. All participants and officials coming into the state for the festival, I assure you we have put machineries in place to get them screened and will follow anybody with a suspicious case for possible quarantine and treatment,” he added.
He, however, listed Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja as the coronavirus testing laboratories centres in the country.
He explained that the emergency operations at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital has been activated for both coronavirus and Lassa fever cases