by Alli Mustapha
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has deployed its Rapid Response Teams to support the Lagos State Government in its first to curb Nigeria’s first case of the Coronavirus (COVID19).
The Federal Ministry of Health had earlier today 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.
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.
In his statement: “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.
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.” 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 coronavirus.
“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 a related development, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said an emergency simulation exercise is on-going at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in response to the discovery of the first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The General Manager of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, said in a statement that the exercise is an operational requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the aerodrome.
She noted that the exercise is also aimed at ascertaining the airport’s preparedness level in real-life emergency situations.