By Oluwafunke Ishola.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, has disclosed that the second confirmed case of COVID-19 was a Nigerian and staff of Lafarge Cement, in Ogun.
Abayomi, during a media briefing on update of the COVID-19 case on Monday in Lagos, said the second patient resides in Ogun, and was among those isolated at Lafarge Plant, at Ewekoro.
The commissioner said that the patient would be transferred to Lagos for better treatment at the Infectious Diseases Centre, Yaba, adding that all those that had contact with him during his isolation at Ogun, would also be tested.
“We have tested the 40 individuals in isolation in Ewekoro at the Lafarge factory because that is the group that had close contact with the index case.
“Out of the 40, we detected one positive and that individual happens to be spending a lot of time with the index case by the virtue of his job.
“That demonstrates the first transmission for the index case and the good news is that we have the individual under surveillance, so that significantly minimises the chance of transmission to a large number of people,” he said.
Abayomi, however, did not divulge the identity of the patient, neither did he reveal the identity of the index case, saying it was against medical ethics to reveal a patient’s identity without permission.
Speaking on reason why the announcement of the second case was not declared in Lagos, Abayomi said that the case was sensitive, of national security and not a Lagos issue alone.
He said that the state was collaborating and in communication with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and other relevant stakeholders on control mechanism of COVID-19 in the country.
“We have tried to limit our transmission from this index case, but so far there is only one which is quite amazing, because one person can infect hundreds and thousands of people.
“We have at least tried to keep it down to one. It is 12 days, and around this time that they start to show symptoms. In fact we are not waiting for them to show the symptoms, we have started taking steps to test all of the contacts.
“It shows you how aggressive we are in Nigeria to stop the virus because we know that you can secrete the virus without showing symptoms.
“The economy of the world is struggling, and we do not want Lagos or Nigeria to be a place that people will not want to travel to either for personal or business reasons.
“We are doing everything to ensure that our environment is safe,” he said
He said that the government was on a search for two male passengers who had direct contact with the index case during his trip on Turkish Airline from Istanbul to Lagos on Feb. 24.
Abayomi said that efforts to reach the two individuals had proved abortive, while disclosing their names as ‘Enwelunta Godfrey Obumnore’ and ‘Salami Abiodun Sodiq’.
“We need to contact you. Please, get in touch with the ministry of health, we have tried to reach you through the address you put on your form and through the telephone number you wrote down. It is vital that you reach out to us,” he said.
Abayomi advised residents to be calm, while restating government’s commitment to ensure safety and health of all citizens.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Nigeria on Feb. 28 confirmed its first case of COVID-19, making Nigeria the third African country to confirm the virus.
The virus was brought into the country by an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on Feb. 25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.
The index case was confirmed on Feb. 27, and is presently being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
The Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had on March 9, confirmed the second case of COVID-19 in the country, saying the patient had contact with the index case. (NAN)