Coronavirus: Nigeria at risk — NEC Reveals

ABUJA—GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said yesterday that Nigeria was still vulnerable to Corvid-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, despite the fact that the country has not recorded any case.

The governor also said the government has taken a proactive measure by mounting digital screening cameras to detect the blood pressure of any visitor at the entry point of the five international airports in Nigeria.

This came as the Senate also yesterday asked the federal government to quarantine anyone arriving the country from China, saying self-isolation wasn’t enough.

This is even as the price of crude oil has dropped $5 below the 2020 budget benchmark of $57.

Briefing State House correspondents after the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the governor said the council was briefed by the Minister of Health on the efforts so far made to prevent the virus in the country.

He said:  “We were briefed about the status of Corvid-19, which is the Coronavirus worldwide disease by the ministers of health, the director-general of the National Primary Health Board.

“As of February 25, we had confirmed that worldwide, over 80,239 cases were recorded. We have over 2,700 deaths worldwide. In Africa, it’s been confirmed that only Egypt and Algeria have confirmed cases but we have seen a transition in countries outside of China – Italy, South Korea, and a few other countries.

“In Nigeria, the good news is, yes, there have been a total of 11 suspected cases, but all the 11 have turned out to be negative.

“In fact, there was a scare in Lagos, yesterday, about two cases, but all have been confirmed negative as we speak.

“But Nigeria still places itself on high risk, as advised by the World Health Organisation, WHO.

“So, the Federal and  state governments are watching all the international airports that we have as major entry points—Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt. They continued to be a major source of external in-road to the country.

“The alertness in each of these airports is very high. But we also have court testing facilities and are ready at the NCDC lab in Abuja, LUTH in Lagos, in Edo State and also the University of Osun. All have been activated and all the state governments have been told to be at a level of preparedness.

“The minister told us what they are also doing in terms of public sensitization, and they are also ensuring that there is an enhanced screening, especially at the ports of entry.

“We are strengthening the deployment of digital screening when visitors are coming in. Sometimes they won’t even know that cameras are watching them and are taking pictures. They have all of these equipment in-store at the airport that I mentioned.”

He said that the council was also given an update around the Lassa fever in the country, currently.

He said: “In the last month, we had about 103 cases nationwide and we recorded 13 deaths in 18 states, where the incidence took place, including Edo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Enugu, Gombe, Katsina, Kogi, Sokoto, Taraba, Delta, Rivers, Adamawa, Nasarawa and Lagos.

“Of all these comfirmed cases, about 72 per cent of them are prevalent in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states. So, the Ministry of Health and Federal Government are concentrating on these three major states.

“But what we have seen between January 1 to February 23, as I have said, there have been a total of 690 confirmed cases and 118 deaths. The first was in the last week, which was 103 and 13 death, but since January to February 23, we have had 690 cases and a total of 118 deaths reported.

“But we are told that it’s been well managed, and there has been a drop of about 15 per cent year-on-year. It’s a seasonal disease but year-on-year, there is a national drop of about 15 per cent already.”

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