NIGERIAN health authorities have successfully contacted over 100 people who had been in contact with the Italian man who tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus and have asked them to remain in self-isolation.
Last week, a 44-year old Italian man arrived in Lagos on a commercial flight from Milan and travelled to neighbouring Ogun State where he is a consultant at the Lafarge Africa cement factory in Ewekoro. He is the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa and his arrival sparked a scare but Lafarge Africa said there is nothing to fear as it has quarantined 39 people who were in contact with him.
Following on from this, the authorities have traced people who travelled with the Italian gentleman and those who stayed at the same hotel as him. Dr Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State health commissioner, said they have asked them to remain isolated for 14 days while undergoing daily temperature checks.
Dr Abayomi said the numbers keep changing, as they are going up gradually. He added that the authorities have identified more than 100 people across the country who came in contact with the Italian and none of those in isolation in Lagos have shown any symptoms of contracting the virus yet.
Nigerians have complained about shortages of face masks and hand sanitizers in Lagos Abuja, with some saying prices have tripled. As a precaution, the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, has suspended shaking hands during mass and called on congregations to reduce gatherings over Lent.
Meanwhile, the Italian man who tested positive for the virus is in a stable condition and is said to be showing signs of improvement. Dr Abayomi denied local media reports that the patient had tried to escape isolation due to poor conditions in the hospital but added that he was moved to another facility because the ward was undergoing renovation.