The Ekiti State Government on Friday said it has briefed the United States Embassy in Nigeria on the death of an American in Ekiti State, following complications from a disease suspected to be the coronavirus.
It said it was also relating with family members of the deceased on arrangements on his burial.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, gave the information while addressing the citizens via a statewide broadcast.
Mr Fayemi also announced restrictions on religious, political and social gatherings above 20 persons in the state.
This is in addition to the shutting down of all schools and government offices as a measure to stem the spread of the disease.
On March 18, the state recorded an incidence wherein a Nigerian male of Ekiti origin resident in Ibadan, tested positive to Covid-19.
Mr Fayemi said the confirmed case came into close contact with a 27-year-old male American, who was visiting Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia, USA, in the company of his caregiver, a Nigerian female, also of Ekiti origin, while conveying them around their holiday destinations.
He said the American and his female caregiver, arrived Nigeria on March 3 through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos and were confirmed to have stayed for 10 days in Ibadan, Oyo State before arriving Ado Ekiti on March 13.
“A day after their arrival, the American male fell ill and he was taken to a private hospital where he was referred to a tertiary hospital,” the governor said.
“Unfortunately, he died from complications of his illness according to the medical report rendered.”
Mr Fayemi noted that the state task-force on COVID-19 was alerted and samples were taken from the American male as well as his two companions.
He said the test for the male chauffeur came back positive while the test for the female caregiver came back negative and the test for the American male was inconclusive.
“The state team has taken fresh samples from the female caregiver and the male driver to repeat the test at the NCDC designated laboratory,” said the governor.
“In line with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) protocol, the Ekiti State Taskforce on Covid-19 has already quarantined the confirmed case on admission in the state isolation centre, while the caregiver who tested negative, is presently under observation in self-isolation.
“While the result of the American male came back inconclusive, the NCDC protocol dictates that an inconclusive result must be handled as positive. We have therefore taken the necessary precautions and approvals related to burials and disposal of such bodies.
“We have made contact with the United States Embassy to brief them on the demise of their citizen.
“We have also spoken with the mother of the deceased to empathize with the family and are working with the Embassy and the family on the burial arrangements of their loved one.”
The governor revealed that the contact tracing team had identified 42 direct and indirect contacts of this imported Ekiti index case, most of whom came in contact with him in the process of managing the illness which took him to hospital.
According to him, ”none of the contacts showed any symptoms but are all being observed under self-isolation”.
He said in the next 14 days, ”their samples would be collected and sent to NCDC for testing and the public would be updated on the results and any further developments as they come in”.
Mr Fayemi said WHO and UNICEF teams arrived Ekiti and were collaborating with Ekiti State by providing the task-force with technical support.
He said the state was also getting adequate support from the NCDC.
“COVID-19 is most deadly because of its ability to pass silently from one infected person to others through virus-laden droplets of bodily fluids for up to 21 days, before showing any symptom,” the governor stated.
“It has been proven that one infected person can transfer the virus to up to four hundred and six (406) people within 30 days and to one hundred and sixty-four thousand (164,836) people in 60 days! That is why it must be contained, and urgently too.”
He said to prevent the exponential transfer of the virus in the state, “all public and private schools and institutions in Ekiti State are to close down from Monday 23rd March 2020.”
“All public gatherings of more than 20 persons are prohibited from today Friday 20th March 2020,” he directed.
“These include religious gatherings e.g. worship and prayer services, night vigils, house fellowships and Nasfat meetings; social gatherings e.g. burials, weddings, family meetings and parties of any kind; political gatherings, e.g. rallies, congresses, ward meetings; night clubs, bars, beer joints, NYSC CDS meetings etc.
“All non-essential workers in private and public sectors are encouraged to work from home from Monday 23rd March 2020. These include civil and public servants from level 12 and below except essential services like health workers, caregivers, social welfare officers, fire service officers, emergency response officers, and security guards/ watchmen in public institutions.”