No coronavirus case in Nigeria – Minister

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has declared that “Nigeria has not recorded any suspected case of coronavirus.”

The minister gave the assurance during a ministerial briefing in Abuja on Friday.

He said Nigeria had developed enough capacity to detect and isolate any Coronavirus case, especially at international entry points to the country.

He disclosed that the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC),World Health Organisation (WHO), and other partners had provided scientific and technical support to Nigeria to strengthen its preparedness for the new 2019-nCoV.

“NCDC, Port Health Services and State Epidemiologists were aware of the process for identification and confirmation. We‘ll review these criteria as additional information on CoV2019 becomes available,” he said.

He said NCDC had continued to make advisories available to Nigerians on the novel coronavirus and how to protect themselves and had also published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to keep Nigerians informed.

“Since the emergence of the coronavirus, we have been working everyday to learn as quickly as possible about this new virus. On-going research on its transmissibility and virulence will determine our response across Nigeria.”

He advised that if anyone experienced symptoms of coronavirus like respiratory illness, restlessness or cough within 14 days of travel to China, they should contact NCDC “immediately on its toll-free number on – 0800-970000-10.”

He said further that a strange illness recently discovered in Benue had been laboratory tested and showed no symptoms of Ebola, Lassa fever or coronavirus.

The minister said NCDC had activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate response activities in conjunction with Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi to ascertain the nature of the illness.

The Senate on Thursday alerted Nigerians to a strange disease had hit Benue state, killing 15 persons while at least 104 were infected.

According to the Senate, the outbreak may be coronavirus epidemic and that the outbreak of the disease occurred on January 29, 2020, in Oye, Obi local government area of Benue state.

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