The Lagos State government has urged residents to remain calm following the confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the state.
The Commissioner for Health in the state, Professor Akin Abayomi, made the appeal in a statement on Friday.
“All Lagosians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families,” he said.
This comes barely one day after the Federal Ministry of Health announced that one person has been confirmed to be infected with the virus.
The case, which was confirmed on February 27, involves an Italian citizen who came into Nigeria on Tuesday from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.
He was said to have fallen ill the next day and transferred to the Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
Professor Abayomi, who spoke on behalf of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, revealed that the case was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, a part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He, however, noted that the patient was clinically stable with no serious symptoms while the case was being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
On actions taken, the commissioner said the government has been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos was controlled and contained quickly.
He added that this was being done in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the NCDC.
“We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Lagosians and Nigerians that we have been strengthening our preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China.
“We will use all the resources made available by the State and the Federal Government to respond to this case. We are working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he arrived in Nigeria,” he said.
Professor Abayomi informed residents that most people who become infected might experience only a mild illness and recover easily while it could be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses.
He urged them to wash their hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The commissioner also advised residents to maintain at least one and half metres (five feet) distance with anyone coughing or sneezing, while those coughing persistently, or sneezing should stay indoors and not mix with the crowd.
He asked them to follow good respiratory hygiene by covering mouths and noses with a handkerchief or tissue while sneezing or coughing.
The statement said, “Stay indoors if you feel unwell with symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
“Please call Lagos State Emergency hotlines 08023169485 or 08033565529 or 08052817243 which are available day and night.
“Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, the Social Media, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.
“Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Lagos.”