Lagos Begins Contact Tracing for Coronavirus


By Martins Ifijeh

The Lagos State government has commenced tracing of persons who have been in contact with the index confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

In a press briefing Friday, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the airline with which he flew into Nigeria February 25 had been contacted to provide details of travellers who sat close to the index case, so that they can be tracked and placed under surveillance for possible infection.

He said: “We have also contacted the company in Ogun State where he went to work on February 26. We have put the staff of the company who were in contact with him under surveillance.

“We will ensure everyone who have had contact with him is contacted and monitored.”

He called on Lagos residents to go about their normal business, noting that until it reaches the point of human-to-human spread, the state will not escalate the process it currently has in place.

Sanwo-Olu said the isolation centre in Yaba has the capacity to take in a minimum of 80 confirmed or suspected cases, adding that plans were being put in place to expand the facility to accommodate more people.

The Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi said air travel was one of the commonest ways the virus could come into the country, adding that it has, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health beefed up surveillance at airports.

He also said: “For sea borders, it takes a minimum of three weeks for ships to enter Lagos from China. This means before it gets here, the occupants of the vessel must have manifested the symptoms.

“Land borders have longed been closed by the federal government, which means we need to intensify efforts at the borders.”

He said there was no point closing public institutions, as the thread has not reached that point. “We do not want to cause panic,” he added.