The Federal government of Nigeria confirmed the first case of coronavirus officially known as COVID-19, in Lagos late Thursday evening.

According to a statement by the Federal Minister of Health, Osagie Enahire, he disclosed that the case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.

He advised that citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic.

The minister promised that the Ministry of Health, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria.

More than 2,800 people have died globally and over 83,000 have been infected.

In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

It is important to furnish yourself with the knowledge of symptoms to look out for and how to protect yourself against this deadly virus.


According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

The centre said this is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid contact with the virus.

The preventive measures to take are highlighted below:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick to protect others from a possible infection
  • Stay away from people who look unwell
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Don’t panic. Panic makes you make the wrong decisions. Stay calm and follow these preventive measures

If you start seeing symptoms or see a suspicious case, please call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.

You can also call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. SMS: 08099555577 WhatsApp: 07087110839.

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