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Coronavirus: FG to trace contacts of infected Italian

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced contact tracing of the first case of reported Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country to monitor the health of people that travelled with the patient to prevent the spread.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said this while answering questions from journalists on Friday in Abuja on measures put in place to prevent the spread.

Ehanire had earlier confirmed that an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy, to Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday had tested positive to the virus.

He then assured Nigerians that the government was working to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I am assuring Nigerians that all measures have been taken to contain and control the spread of the virus, it happened in Lagos, the state Commissioner was the first we were in touch with.

“I know the capability of Lagos State, the state has a lot of experience on Ebola so they will be able to handle the case. Also, we have sent a team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to support the state.

“The relief is that the patient is not showing very serious symptoms and other relief is that as far as statistics is a concern, 97 percent of the case that have COVID-19 do recover.

“The terrible thing about it is that it spreads easily and people can get it without knowing,’’ he said.

According to him, the reported case is not as a result of failure to screen at the airports but the nature of the virus which may not present symptoms at that period of screening.

He commended the Lagos State Government for handling the case as the patient was quickly referred to a reference laboratory under controlled transportation and the driver was fully kitted.

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