Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The federal government says it has deployed rapid response teams across the country to ensure that Coronavirus doesn’t spread across the country.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, stated this during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday following the confirmation of the first case of the virus in Lagos.
Asked how prepared the government was in ensuring the virus doesn’t escalate, the minister assured Nigerians of the preparedness of the government to tackle the viral disease, adding that there is no reason to panic.
“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,” the minister 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 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.”
Earlier speaking, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of NCDC, stated that Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has deployed its rapid response teams in Lagos state and other parts of the country to manage the situation adequately.
As it stands, Nigeria becomes the third country to confirm the disease in Africa and the 52nd in the world.
The patient, an Italian citizen, 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 added.