Italian man confirmes as Nigeria’s first coronavirus case, after arriving from Milan was in the country for almost two full days before being isolated, He travelled through Lagos and visiting another state.
The case has prompted a scramble by authorities in Africa’s most populous country who are now trying to trace everyone who arrived on the same flight as the patient and identify the places he visited before going to the hospital.
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told reporters on Friday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja that they have started working to identify all the contacts of the person since he entered Nigeria and even those who were with him on the aircraft
The Italian man arrived Nigeria through Turkish Airlines flight that had a connection in Istanbul, Akin Abayomi, Lagos state commissioner for health, told reporters.
It was also said that after he had spent the night in a hotel near the airport, he arrived in the neighboring state of Ogun on February 25 at his place of work, while he was there, he developed a fever and body aches on the afternoon of February 26, Abayomi said.
Health practitioners with his company then contacted biosecurity authorities, who transferred him to a containment facility in Yaba, Lagos state.
“It was very astute of the medical practitioners in that facility to keep him overnight in an isolated environment,” Abayomi said.
Ehanire said the infection was confirmed on February 27 by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and that the man is now quarantined but doing well.
As well as being the first in Nigeria, the patient is the first confirmed coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa.
Turkish Airlines did not immediately comment on the case. There are no confirmed cases in Turkey.
The World Health Organization has said it already has experts on the ground in Nigeria, which it identifies as one of 13 “high priority” countries in Africa.