Hotels and resorts centres within and around Lagos have been placed on active surveillance by the state government as part of measures to check and contain the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-2019) in the event of its possible outbreak in Nigeria.
This is also as the surveillance team from the state ministry of health has investigated the rumoured suspicious cases of the disease in Gowon Estate, in the Alimosho area, and concluded that no such case exists anywhere in Lagos.
Akin Abayomi, the commissioner for health, gave an update on the issue on Wednesday, saying government was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of Lagosians.
“We have scaled up search by placing hotels and other resort centres on active surveillance to closely monitor visitors, travelers and non-nationals especially those of East Asian and Chinese origin,” he said.
Some social media platforms had been awash with rumoured suspected cases of the deadly disease linked to some Chinese who recently returned from Wuhan, China and residing in Osoba Close, Gowon Estate.
The imaginary Chinese were rumoured to be having severe symptoms of Coronavirus disease and treating the diseases themselves. This had created panic in Gowon Estate, with some residents calling for thorough investigation into the matter.
Abayomi explained that the state surveillance team and other relevant stakeholders in Alimosho visited the alleged scene of the suspected cases and its environs on the February 9, 2020 and discovered that there were no Chinese nationals residing or carrying on business in and around any of the streets of the communities visited.
“In a bid to further investigate the rumour, the surveillance team of Lagos State ministry of health and the Alimosho community stakeholders were in Gowon Estate and its environs, the alleged scene of the suspected cases”.
“The team interrogated residents living in and around Osoba Street in Alaguntan Ward, Segun Majekodunmi Street and other randomly selected houses in Alimosho, but there were no Chinese nationals residing or carrying on business in and around any of the streets and communities visited,” said Abayomi.
He added that the team also interrogated the chairman of Gemade Estate who was known to have affiliations with Chinese expatriates but discovered that the six Chinese expatriates who had worked in his factory at Igbesa, Agbara, Ogun State had returned to China since 2019 when their work permit expired.
“The team expanded its search to hotels around Alimosho and Gowon Estate where a Taiwanese lady was identified to have visited one of the hotels but nothing concrete linking her to China was found. Three Egyptian nationals who were sighted buying drugs at a particular pharmacy were also interrogated but were found to be business men who had no link whatsoever with China”, the commissioner said.
He said that dedicated call centre phone lines have been circulated in the communities to enable prompt reporting of suspected Coronavirus Disease cases and other infectious diseases.
“The team is currently engaging and mobilising Community Development Associations (CDAs), Community Development Committees (CDCs) and Rapid Response teams (RRT) at LGAs and LCDAs across the state to support the surveillance efforts of the ministry of health,” said the commissioner.