The Nigerian Honourable Minister of Health has announced a confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State. “The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on Twitter. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020 and is the first in Sub Saharan Africa.
As stated on the Twitter page of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the patient is clinically stable and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, in Lagos State. The NCDC also assures all Nigerians that measures are in place to respond appropriately and they are working with Lagos State Ministry of Health to identify contacts and initiate response accordingly
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided a simple standard guideline to be followed which will help you protect yourself; this is summarized and listed below;
- First is for you to calm down, don’t panic and be confident that you can prevent the disease from spreading to you. Note that China has recorded 78,191 cases as of today which is roughly 0.005% of the country’s population and most cases survived the infection.
- Wash your hands frequently, regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain social distancing – at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance – between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This is because when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. This is because your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Practice respiratory hygiene – Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and then dispose of the used tissue immediately. You must do this because cough or sneeze droplets spread the virus and by following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, seek medical care early, stay at home and strictly follow the directions of the health workers. National and local health workers and authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area and will be able to quickly direct you to the right health facility, thereby protecting you and helping prevent the spread of viruses and other infections. Also, tell your health provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.