Nigeria is currently examining two persons suspected of presenting symptoms of the dreaded Coronavirus; recently renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The two persons are currently undergoing a series of test for the disease. This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu on Friday, February 14, 2020.
However, Dr, Ihekweazu has called for calm; even as he assured that the NCDC has the situation under control. Further, he disclosed that the results of the tests would be made known publicly if they are positive.
Meanwhile, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who gave an update on the coronavirus disease in Abuja; revealed that the two suspected cases had been undergoing a series of tests since Thursday night. However, he revealed that so far, no one had tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria. Specifically, he disclosed that 30 investigations had been carried out so far. Of these, the medical practitioner affirmed that none had tested positive.
“At least we have had 30 investigations of people that have called us for one reason or the other. Out of that, two of them have met the case definition, that is; the person will have to have returned in the last 14 days.
“The two cases were tested and were found negative. Last night (Thursday night), we had another two, and tests are going on at the moment. As soon as they are completed, it will be announced. If a person returns to the country, say within 20 or 30 days; there is no point wasting reagents to test such a person.”
NCDC DG says Nigeria on top of Coronavirus threat
“For other diseases, we usually advise people to go to the hospitals to get tested. But for suspected cases of coronavirus, patients are advised to simply put a call through to us. We will come to the patient because going to the hospital can amplify the disease; if it is found to be positive.
“Be assured that if there is a positive case, we will be the first to announce it. So if you see something on social media saying a number of people have died of the virus in Nigeria; it is simply a rumour. It is not possible that it will happen because there are only three labs in Nigeria that run these tests.
“Once there is a positive, I will be informed. And I will inform the Minister of Health who will announce it. There is no other way this information can get out,’’ he revealed.
Meanwhile, the NCDC DG has further shed some light on the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria. He noted that some German health experts and a group of Nigerian scientists were already working together to develop a vaccine against Lassa fever.