The Lagos State Government has advised travelers returning from China and any country where cases of coronavirus have been reported to observe self-quarantine on arrival in Lagos.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement on Sunday, said, “During unsupervised self-quarantine, we expect persons concerned to respond to the state advice and act as responsible citizens. You are required to restrict your movement to your home, monitor yourself closely, report any symptoms that may develop to the Ministry of Health on the contact numbers provided and engage in good personal hygiene.
“You must monitor yourself closely and diligently during the self-quarantine period, to identify if you develop symptoms including, but not limited, to headache, cough, sore throat, fever, chest pain, chills, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and pneumonia.”
The commissioner stressed the need for citizens observing self-quarantine who develop any of the aforementioned symptoms to immediately contact the Lagos State Ministry of Health on 08023169485, 08033565529 and 08052817243 for further instructions.
“Novel Coronavirus Infection has an incubation period of five to 14 days. This means if you have been in China or any other country that is now experiencing coronavirus transmission from person to person, you may become unwell after a period of five to 14 days of your return. If you feel unwell or develop symptoms, immediately contact the numbers provided to communicate how you are feeling”, he said.
China reports 304 coronavirus deaths
The People’s Republic of China on Saturday confirmed 14,380 cases of the dreaded coronavirus disease, with 304 deaths.
The authorities disclosed that 328 infected persons had been cured and discharged from the hospital.
The Press Officer, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Sun Saixiong, in an update in Abuja on Sunday, said a total of 137,594 people that have had close contact with infected patients were still under medical observation, while 8,044 others were released from observation on Saturday.
It said, “On the Chinese mainland, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 14,380 as of Saturday midnight, including 304 deaths; 328 people have been released from hospitals after being cured, data released on Sunday morning showed.”
It said a 1000-bed hospital built within nine days had been handed over to the military for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
Nigeria stands by you, Buhari tells China
Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said that Nigeria stands by China in its trying moments of battling the raging coronavirus infection.
A State House statement on Sunday said Buhari extended good wishes to his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, and all Chinese.
“China’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have been exemplary as well as the country’s collaboration with international agencies and other countries on the matter.
“President Buhari notes that China has been exceptionally supportive of Nigeria and Africa, and even more so in recent years; therefore, it is important to let China know that Nigeria and her citizens are also standing by them during this outbreak.
“With all the efforts being put in, we know that it is only a matter of time before this nightmare passes,” the statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu, said.
The Presidency added, “President Buhari uses this opportunity to thank Nigerians for their hospitality towards the Chinese nationals in our midst, and for not letting the coronavirus outbreak create any disturbance or disrupt the peaceful coexistence between us and them.”
The death toll in the fast-spreading virus infection hit 304 in China on Sunday.
Chinese authorities also said no fewer than 14,380 other people had contracted the virus.
Outside China, the Philippines became the first country to record a death on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera.com.
Incidentally, the 44-year-old victim came from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus attacks originated.
FG declares capacity to test sample
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has assured Nigerians of the nation’s preparedness to tackle the deadly coronavirus, saying that Nigeria now has the capacity to test the virus samples.
The World Health Organisation on Thursday declared coronavirus a global emergency with first death confirmed outside China where the first case of the virus was reported on December 31, 2019.
In a statement signed by the Head of Media and Public Relations at the ministry, Enefaa Bob-Manuel, the minister said the feat was achieved with the help of the World Health Organisation.
The statement came just as the National Centre for Disease Control in a tweet credited to the commission’s Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Sunday said that the National Reference Laboratory had been validated to test for the virus sample.
The statement read, “Nigeria, with the help of WHO, has now acquired in-country capacity to test for coronavirus (sample). The Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire, expressed appreciation to the WHO for their support and again called on those coming from China in the past fortnight to self-isolate for at least 14 days to protect their families and communities.
“Such persons, who develop fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty in breathing, should report to the nearest hospital. All health-care workers who receive patients with symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing are to supply them with masks and isolate (them) before contacting the NCDC on 07032864444.”
China-based Nigerian faults Lai Mohammed’s claim
Nigerians in East China are raising funds to assist victims of coronavirus in Wuhan, a Nigerian based in China, Nnamdi Onwuka, claimed on Sunday.
He also faulted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that there were only 16 Nigerians in Wuhan, the place where the coronavirus originated in China, saying “there are no fewer than 50 Nigerians in that city.”
Onwuka stated this in an e-mail exclusively sent to The PUNCH on Sunday, entitled, ‘China coronavirus: Lai Mohammed lied.”
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had told journalists on Friday that when the Federal Government got in touch with the affected victims of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, the 16 Nigerians did not show interest in returning to the country.
“I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them. They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home,” the minister had said.
But Onwuka, in his email, writes, “It is not true that there are only 16 Nigerians in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus in China. In fact, there are no fewer than 50 Nigerians in that city. This goes to show that the minister and the Chinese Embassy in the afflicted city do not know how many Nigerian citizens are trapped in the city.
“It is not true that the people said they don’t want to be evacuated, that they are okay in the virus inflicted-city. On the contrary, many of them are ready to be evacuated even if the Federal Government wants them to pay the cost of transporting them home later.
“It is not true that they are okay. As I am writing this, Nigerians in Diaspora (East China) are making contingency arrangements, raising money from members to source daily needs, including mats and disinfectants to send to them in Wuhan.”
He added, “Other nations are evacuating their people from the city, and it is only through a diplomatic channel that any foreigner can leave Wuhan now.
“If they can’t evacuate them, at least they should make genuine efforts to provide their needs given the precarious situation in that city now owing to the complete lockdown
“Nigerians in Wuhan have sent out their heartfelt message to the Nigerian government to take necessary action to either evacuate them to help sourcing their needs given that the primary duty of the Embassy in Beijing is to attend to the welfare of every single Nigerian in China.”