The Lagos State Ministry of Health said Thursday that four new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state.
This brings to 12 the total number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria, although one of the victims has fully recovered.
The Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, addressed journalists on the new cases on Thursday at the state secretariat.
He said the latest patients have been admitted for treatment at the Lagos State bio-security and infectious disease hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
He said 19 tests were performed on suspected cases and contacts of the five cases announced on Wednesday, out of which four turned positive.
The first of the new positive cases is that of a woman who had contact with one of the earlier positive cases who returned from the UK.
The second is that of a Nigerian female who returned from France via a Turkish airline (TK 1830) on March 14.
“The third new confirmed case is a Nigerian male in his 50s who had never travelled anywhere, but presented the symptoms and was referred for treatment. He tested positive and had since been admitted,” he said.
Mr Abayomi said the fourth case is a Nigerian male who arrived in Nigeria on March 13, from Frankfurt, Germany on Luftansa flight LH 568.
He said individuals that were on any of the flights of the confirmed cases – TK 1830 and LH 568 – should isolate themselves for 14 days and reach out to the ministry on 08000CORONA, if they develop any respiratory symptoms.
“What we have is a combination of imported cases and local transmission,” Mr Abayomi said.
He added that the ministry is currently tracking over 1,300 people in relation to Covid-19.
The Very First Index Case
“The index case has now cleared the virus, but we will check him one more time, if he is negative, he will be discharged,” the commissioner said.
He said the Italian national was the first confirmed case in Nigeria and is eager to leave the facility. But he is still being held at the facility until a second negative test is obtained, he said.
“We have 11 confirmed cases but nine active cases in Lagos state at the moment,” he said.
Mr Abayomi said the cases announced on Wednesday are clinically stable and the public should not panic.
He said the Lagos State Government is holding various meetings to decide on the next step to avert the spread of the virus which will include the concept of social distancing.
“The best way to slow down this outbreak is to stop the opportunity for the virus to move from person to person. The virus cannot jump a distance, it has to move either through contacts or very close proximity or if you touch a surface that an infected person has touched.”
The commissioner said Lagos has three testing sites, which are ramping up with support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. All tests and treatments for Covid-19 are done free of charge, he added.