Nigeria says it is ready and more than capable of dealing with coronavirus


“Nigeria is prepared,” Chikwe Ihekweazu stated. “We efficiently managed Ebola and we handle outbreaks on a regular basis and are presently managing Lassa fever. We’ve got a powerful workforce that’s used to doing this.”

An Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos, Nigeria’s financial nerve heart, turned the primary confirmed case of coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa, the nation’s Well being Ministry reported earlier.

Ihekweazu informed CNN the Italian affected person who arrived within the nation with the virus is presently secure and “has gentle to reasonable signs.”

“We’re very looking forward to his full restoration,” stated Ihekweazu, an epidemiologist who was appointed CEO of the NCDC in 2016 and has been credited with reworking the group.

In response to Ihekweazu, the person was screened on arrival on the airport, nevertheless, he introduced no signs on the time, which is why the temperature scanners on the airport didn’t detect he was sick.

“Screening isn’t a idiot proof technique because the virus has an incubation interval of 4 to 5 days,” he added.

Earlier this week, Algeria confirmed the primary case on the continent, one other Italian passenger who entered the nation on February 17. The affected person was positioned in quarantine, and beneath shut supervision, based on well being authorities in Algeria.

‘Astute physicians’

Nigerian officers say the affected person who works in Nigeria arrived in Lagos on February 25 and have become sick the following day however fast pondering physicians who examined him contacted the NCDC after asking him about his journey historical past.

“He had astute physicians,” Ihekweazu stated. “The physician received in contact with us when he discovered he had simply come from Milan, we collected a pattern, examined it and remoted him in a facility in Lagos that manages infectious ailments.”

Ihekweazu factors to the velocity with which Nigeria recognized and confined the affected person as an indication the nation is ready to take care of the outbreak.

“The system labored. We recognized this case, recognized and remoted inside 48 hours of it getting into the nation. In different international locations like Iran and Italy as an example, by the point the primary case had been confined, there was widespread contact.”

No water entry

Frequent handwashing with cleaning soap and water is without doubt one of the key methods of making certain infectious ailments resembling coronavirus don’t unfold.

Nonetheless, one in six healthcare amenities globally should not have each cleaning soap and water obtainable for docs, nurses and sufferers to scrub their arms, says Tim Wainwright, Chief Government, WaterAid UK.

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Figures from WHO reveals that solely 42 p.c of Nigerians have entry to water, cleaning soap and washing amenities on their premises, whereas 25 p.c haven’t any entry to water in any respect.

Nigeria has round 200 million residents so there are vital issues concerning the impression of coronavirus spreading extensively.

The World Well being Group not too long ago stated that an outbreak of coronavirus in Africa would hit the continent tougher than China.

The novel coronavirus has killed a minimum of 2,800 individuals worldwide, the overwhelming majority in mainland China.

There have been greater than 83,000 international circumstances, with infections in each continent besides Antarctica.

Lots of the international locations in Africa are already coping with extreme well being crises with restricted sources, resembling Ebola within the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A race in opposition to time

Ihekweazu stated the federal government is now racing in opposition to time to determine all of the passengers on the airplane and all of the individuals who could have are available in contact with the person who was working as a guide in Ogun State, round 100 km exterior of Lagos.

“The contact tracing is going on now and we’re wanting intimately at who he might need are available in contact with. The better half is figuring out individuals on the flight as we have now the manifest, however the tough half is the individuals he could have are available in contact with. We’re asking them to

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Regardless of Nigeria’s preparedness, Ihekweazu stated sources are stretched and the unknown nature of the coronavirus signifies that there are not any ensures.

“It is a new virus. As a lot as we are able to do our greatest, there are not any ensures of success. Assets will all the time be a problem for us. Within the quick time period, we have now what we have to mount a reasonable response however the extra these circumstances occur, the extra stretched we are going to turn into.”

The well being ministry urged residents to not panic and to keep away from spreading misinformation.

“Residents should not abuse social media and take pleasure in spreading misinformation that causes worry and panic,” it stated.

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