- To release Italian patient next week
By Martins Ifijeh
A Nigerian who returned from France Monday and suspected to be infected with the Coronavirus disease has been isolated at the Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba pending the outcome of his result.
The Lagos State government is also planning to release the Italian patient next week following the potential decline of his viral load to negative.
Stating these at a press briefing in Alausa Thursday, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof Akin Abayomi said the suspected case who was referred to the ministry by a private hospital exhibited signs of flu.
He said: “The Nigerian spent seven days in France, returned to Lagos three days ago and presented with headache and some respiratory symptoms. He has been in a country where there is active person-to-person transmission, so it could be a common cold or Coronavirus. He has been put in isolation, the test is being run right now, I am expecting the result,” Abayomi said.
Abayomi said for the Italian patient who tested positive to the virus last week, his viral load as at yesterday has dropped significantly, and that once he gets to negative viral load, he will be observed for few more days before another viral load test is done on him to reconfirm whether or not he is fit to be discharged.
He said: “If the second viral load shows negative again, it means he is no longer secreting the virus and can no longer infect anyone.
“Although the Italian developed some respiratory issues some days ago, he was given some specific therapies which helped in addressing the symptom. The specific therapies are not curative, but they helped in addressing the specific symptoms he had. His clinical situation is quite stable.”
Abayomi also noted that the patient has been depressed lately, and that the state has provided him with some psychosocial support, adding that, “We brought in some specialists to see him because he is lonely and depressed. We understand his situation because he is the only one in the ward.
“We have also provided him with enough airtime and internet so he can be in touch with his family and friends.
“We know within the next one week he will be travelling back. So we are doing all to ensure he is negative before he leaves, because there will be passengers on flight when he leaves. He has to have aa zero viral load so no one gets infected,” he added.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on Nigerians to seek information from trusted sources, rather than believe myriads of fake news going round.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Thursday, the media office of UNICEF Nigeria said: “As concerns increase around Covid-19 globally, with information shared on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, we want the public to trust information only from verified sources.
“UNICEF has become aware of messages being circulated that is being falsely attributed to the organisation. All genuine information can be found on our website, www.unicef.org, including information on how to protect oneself and loved ones from the virus. People can also see the WHO website for further updated information.”
UNICEF in collaboration with WHO is supporting the Nigerian government’s response on the outbreak.