The federal government on Monday confirmed the second case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the country.
This was announced by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Benin City, Edo State capital.
Mr Ehanire said the confirmed case was not imported, when compared to the previous case. This case was detected in one of the contacts traced from the index case.
“It is my duty, therefore, to announce a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria,” he said.
The newly confirmed case is an Ogun State contact of the index case, but he has no significant clinical symptoms.
Nigeria is one of the six African countries that have reported at least a case of Coronavirus on the continent.
Nigeria recorded its first case of Coronavirus on February 27, in an Italian businessman who had flown into the country for business.
The man had spent two days within the country and visited Lagos and Ogun state before he fell ill and was diagnosed of Covid-19.
He has since been isolated and placed under treatment.
“He presently does not have any clinical symptoms, is comfortable and in care at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos, he said.
However, as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the government had begun contacting tracing of every individual who had been suspected of having contact with the index case.
According to the situation report from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
However, NCDC said the new case was detected in one of the traced contacts, although the individual was asymptomatic (no significant clinical symptoms) as of the time of detection.
This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, on Monday, to two.
NCDC said, “one of the important response strategies at the containment stage has been to identify all contacts, ensure their strict isolation, and to follow up daily with checks for any symptoms of the disease.
NCDC said it took advice of recent experience from other countries and evident from newly published studies on non-symptomatic infections that samples should be taken from all contacts of the index case for testing.
“It is in this process that these two cases were detected.
NCDC said 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
On March 8, scientists confirmed the presence of coronavirus in one of the contacts.
Mr Ehanire said all other contacts of the index case in Ogun and Lagos will remain in isolation and testing will be carried out on those not yet tested, including some in other states.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Health, and Lagos and Ogun States Health Ministries is committed to do all needed to control the spread of this outbreak.
“Since the first case was confirmed in Nigeria on February 27, the National Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) in Abuja, continues to work closely with Lagos and Ogun State EOCs, to coordinate response activities.
“I again strongly advise against spreading misinformation to cause fear and panic,” he said.
Since the beginning of the new coronavirus outbreak in China in December, over 80 countries have reported at least a case of the disease.
The disease has subsequently spread to other countries, one of the important response strategies at the containment stage, has been to identify all contacts, ensure their strict isolation and to follow up daily with checks for any symptoms of the disease.
As of Sunday over 107,000 cases of the disease, with over 3,500 deaths has been reported on all the continents except Antarctica.
Recent studies in China have shown that increased surveillance, self-isolation and in particular, contact tracing do reduce the risk of spread, because further opportunities for transmission of the virus by the infected patient in the community are limited.
Also, a globally emerging lesson learnt is that some people who contracted COVID-19 appear to experience zero or only mild illness and will recover; however, other patients develop more severe symptoms, especially if they have other underlying illnesses, or are weakened by old age.