Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
There was panic among the residents of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital wednesday, as the news filtered into town that the state has recorded the first case of COVID-19.
The 38-year-old man is an indigene of the state with links with some American citizens.
The news sent jitters down the spines of the people as many people saw the situation as posing dangers to the lives of the citizens.
A statement signed by the Health Commissioner, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-kolade, said three persons were quarantined at the isolation centre with one testing positive to the pandemic, another one negative, while the third one remains inconclusive.
She said the process of contact tracing ws triggered by the alarm raised by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire to the effect that a positive case of COVID-19 in a patient in Ekiti State had been discovered.
“The Ekiti State Task Force on COVID-19, headed by Governor Kayode Fayemi, can confirm that we have recorded an incidence of a Nigerian male, 38-year- old, of Ekiti origin, who has tested positive to COVID-19.
“The confirmed case is suspected to have been infected while driving an American Caucasian, male, 27 years old; who was visiting Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia, USA in the company of his caregiver, a Nigerian female, age 31, of Ekiti origin.
“The American male and his Nigerian female care-giver, arrived Nigeria on March 3, 2020 through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos. Preliminary investigations revealed that the pair were driven by our confirmed case to Ibadan, where they stayed for two weeks, and arrived Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on March 13, 2020.
“A day after their arrival, the American male fell ill and he was taken to a private hospital where he was referred to a tertiary hospital. Unfortunately, he died from complications of his illness”.
The hospital authorities alerted the State Task Force and samples were taken from the American male as well as his two companions. The test for the male driver came back positive; the test for the female caregiver came back negative while the test for the American male was inconclusive”.
Kolade added that in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, the Ekiti State Task Force on COVID-19 has already quarantined the confirmed case on admission in the State Isolation Centre, while the caregiver who tested negative, is presently under observation in self-isolation.
The commissioner said the government has commenced the process of contact tracing, working with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), following the team’s itinerary since they landed in Nigeria on March 3, 2020.
“We have also contacted the Oyo State Government since it was recorded that they stayed in Ibadan for two weeks before arriving Ekiti State.
“The confirmed case is very stable and not showing any symptoms while NCDC will repeat the test for the care-giver who is also in self-isolation”.
She stated that the Task Force on COVID-19 is following the NCDC Case Management Protocols with diligence. We want to urge Ekiti residents to stay calm and ensure they observe the prevention steps that are being publicised on all credible media.
Kolade said this likely index case was on a short visit and had not been in Ekiti State for up to 72 hours before his death.
“The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 advises residents to continue to take self-preventive measures by washing their hands with soap and water, covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing, observing social distancing and to alert the authorities of any suspected case by calling the 112 Emergency Number or 09062970434, 09062970435, 09062970436”.