To Stop Spread of Coronavirus, 3 Chinese Cities Put on Lockdown

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*20m people affected by govt’s preventive measure

*No case of virus in Nigeria, says Lagos govt

By Martins Ifijeh

Following the death of 17 persons infected by the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China, the Chinese government has cut off the city of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou from the rest of the world; putting 20 million residents of the provinces on partial lockdown and travel ban.

Also, the Lagos State government has asked residents not to panic as no case of the virus has been identified in the state or in any other part of Nigeria.

The lockdown in the cities, which is part of measures to contain the spread of the outbreak, was announced by the Chinese task-force set up to deal with the crisis in the country.

It said all highways, flights, cafes, public transport systems, and public spaces have been shut down, a move it called a “necessary act to stop the spread of the epidemic.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr. Akin Abayomi, said the state government was ramping up its levels of preparedness, adding that it was collaborating with the Federal Ports Authority on Screening and Surveillance to ensure the virus does not find its way into the cosmopolitan city.

Abayomi explained that the novel Coronavirus (nCoV) was a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, adding that Coronaviruses were primarily infections of animals that can be transmitted to humans.

“The Lagos State biosecurity team in collaboration with Lagos University Teaching Hospital is currently working on building urgent capacity to identify the virus in our biosecurity facility and isolation wards located at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba in the event of any suspected case arriving in Lagos State.

“We are in touch with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja to align our strategies. Importantly, we are also collaborating with the Federal Ports Authority at air, land and sea border posts to elevate screening and surveillance of incoming travelers,” he said

Abayomi urged citizens to adopt and practice high standard of personal and environmental hygiene including regular hand washing, covering of mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing and practice good biosecurity precautions with domestic and wild animals as measures against the transmission of any kind of contagious infection, nCoV inclusive.

The commissioner advised citizens travelling from South East Asia or any country where the infection had been reported or who have had contact with travelers from that region and are feeling ill to go to the nearest health facility for immediate assessment and treatment or call 08023169485, 08033565529 or 08052817243 for assistance.