No cause for alarm over Coronavirus outbreak in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu assures

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday allayed the fears of Lagosians over the case of an Italian who tested positive to the deadly Coronavirus in the state.

The governor said there is no cause for alarm as the government had put necessary measures in place to tackle the situation.

The governor stated this in a press conference at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos.

He disclosed that the government has commenced contact tracing of those who had connection with the patient that developed the symptoms in Ogun State, where he had a business meeting on Tuesday.

Sanwo-Olu explained that the patient arrived Lagos from Milan, Italy, on Monday, without symptoms, but was later referred to Lagos after exhibiting the signs and was first treated at the Company’s facilities, in Ogun State.

Sanwo-Olu, who hinted that there are various levels of escalation, said the state is constantly in touch with the National Centre For Disease Control, Federal Government and all other stakeholders while surveillance, monitoring and containment would be intensified.

While urging citizens and residents not to panic, Sanwo-Olu said the patient, who is currently quarantined is in stable condition and undergoing a molecular test to really confirm if he is positive to COVID 19.

The governor said tracking mechanisms have been activated with the support of relevant authorities to identify possible contacts with the patients.

Also a number of staff in the company where he is working in Ogun State and the two hotels where he lodged on arrival in both states were under surveillance and necessary test, Sanwo-Olu said.

He said, ‘’We had a traveller that started his journey from Milan on Monday, 24th, he transmitted through Istanbul through a Turkish airline and arrived in Lagos on Tuesday night, and spent the night in an hotel near the airport and on Tuesday morning, he moved on to his business in Ogun State, a corporate entity.

‘’He carried out his business within Ogun state within the confines of the company on Tuesday and Wednesday and spent the night in their accommodation, company’s Guest House. By the afternoon, he started to develop symptoms of high fever and body pains.

‘’He presented himself at the company medical facility, where investigation began. Of course, he gave a history of his origin of Italy, where we know there is a young outbreak.

“It was astute of the medical personnel to keep him over night in an isolated environment. They contacted us at the biosecurity unit in Lagos for assistance and we immediately ask them to transfer the case to Lagos.

‘’He was brought to our high containment facility in Yaba on Thursday morning. Immediately, he arrived, he was put in strict isolation and appropriate tests were ordered.

“Within hours we received signals that the test in the laboratory was showing signs of positivity. At that point, we informed the federal minister of health, about the incident and the minister informed higher authorities in Abuja.’’

The governor said the patient had been placed in strict isolation at the state containment facility in Yaba and he is doing well with supportive therapy.

He added that,’’ As of now, we have started to trace the movement from the airport through Lagos to Ogun state. And we are busy identifying any possible person that may have come in contact with him so that we can start our isolation and containment exercise to ensure we break the circle of transmission.

‘’In Lagos, we have been building capacity steadily , fortified support at the airport and sending state health personnel to support federal authorities. A form has been developed and all travellers are to fill the form as they arrive. At our infectious facility, we have ramped up our capacity to isolate cases. We are now sitting on an 80 bed facility because of the urgency fund that has been released by the incident commander.

‘’We are continuing to build more capacity, should in case we have an increase number of cases in Lagos. We have an aggressive public awareness campaign going on and we have engaged in extensive training across the hierarchy of health professionals in Lagos state. In addition, we are building our capacity to diagnose the case in Lagos and right now, we can run the test in two centres in Lagos.

‘’ One in our biosecurity facility and the other at the Lagos teaching hospital. We are in constant contact with the National Centre for Disease Control and the minister of health and we are exchanging information continuously.

‘’The important thing is that the patient is confined and we have aggressively started to identify all his contacts all the way to the airline and that process started around  3am this morning and it continues as we speak.

“We like to assure everybody that we are on this case that we can identify everybody that come in contact with him.

‘’The symptoms are subsiding, he does not have any symptoms of respiratory disease. It is probably a good thing, but he does have fever and body pain. If he had respiratory symptoms, it probably may have been more contagious than it is at the moment.’’

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said Lagos has a sophisticated Response Mechanism, adding that government had activated its Disease Control Centre with an eighty bed facility with plans to scale it up to contain the spread of the Virus.

He urged Lagosians to exercise a high level of suspicion at all times, especially for those just arriving the country and report any suspected case through the helplines.

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