In a swift response to curb the spread of the malignant coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has hit the ground running with the deployment of its rapid response teams in Lagos state as Nigeria records its first case of coronavirus .
Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of NCDC, made this known in Abuja.
Lagos, the most populous state and Nigeria’s commercial capital was hit by the deadly disease on Friday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country making Nigeria the second country to confirm the disease in Africa and the 52nd in the world.
The patient, an Italian national, was said to have entered Nigeria on February 25 from Milan, Italy on a business visit.
Over 80,000 cases of coronavirus have been recorded globally, out of which more than 33,000 people have recovered.
Ihekweazu said health facilities must remain on high alert and he assured Nigerians of their safety against COVID-19.
“The NDCD has escalated the multi-sectoral coronavirus preparedness group to an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), at level II to lead response activities,” he said.
“The NCDC will continue to keep Nigerians informed. It is important for them to be focused on facts and not fear.
“Nigerians should protect themselves by staying calm, drink lots of water.”
He also advised Nigerians to frequently wash their hands, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, practice respiratory hygiene and that if anyone has a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, they should seek medical care early.
The DG assured Nigerians that with appropriate information, treatment and precautions, the country will beat COVID-19 like it did Ebola.
The federal ministry of health earlier assured Nigerians of the preparedness of the government to tackle the viral disease.
“The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria,” Osagie Enahire, minister of health, said.
“The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its national Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Nigerians that have we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case.”