Nigeria has confirmed the second case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Monday at a press conference in Benin City, Edo State capital.
Speaking at the boardroom of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Ehanire disclosed that the new case was a contact of the index case and not a new importation into the country.
The Minister explained that the newly confirmed case is one of the 40, who had contact with the Italian, that had been isolated and was under clinical follow-up.
“He presently does not have any clinical symptoms, is comfortable and in care at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos.”
According to him, the case was confirmed on Sunday March 8, after the federal ministry of health, following best practices decided to test all the isolated contacts of the index case for possible presence of the disease in their systems. This was done even though none of the isolated persons had shown any symptom.
He said, “When the first case was diagnosed on 27 February, the ministry traced and isolated 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos, who had had physical contact with the index case.”
Ehanire also disclosed that a team of researchers from various institutions in Nigeria have successfully perform the genome sequencing of the coronavirus (COVID-19) strain that the index case brought to Nigeria and proved it to be a match with the virus circulating in Italy and Wuhan.
The team included scientists from the Centre for Human and Zoology Virology in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Lagos, coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health and NCDC.
“This is the first time the sequencing of this virus has been performed in Africa. The result has been shared with International Authorities and the Director General of the World Health Organization has extended congratulations to Nigerian scientists for this achievement” he added.
Nairametrics had reported when a press release from the Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lagos State, Nigeria. It was the first reported case in the country and in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the press release, the Italian citizen works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan to Lagos on the 25th of February. Milan has been the center of one of the most significant breakouts of the virus in Europe. The unnamed worker has been confirmed by the Virology laboratory of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and is reported to be stable “with no serious symptoms” according to the press release.