Two more foreign nationals suspected to be carrying the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from a high-risk country in Asia have tested negative in Lagos State, the Chief Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Monday.
The Governor disclosed that series of medical examination at the State’s bio-security facility conducted on the two patients, who were brought from Ogun State over the weekend, did not show any sign of COVID-19 infection.
Sanwo-Olu made this known during an advocacy meeting held at the Banquet Hall in State House, Alausa, with all 57 council chairmen, community health officers from all councils, representatives of Community Development Association (CDA) and Community Development Council (CDC) across Lagos. All Progressives Congress (APC) members led by the State chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, attended the event.
The Governor, who spoke in Yoruba dialect, observed that the condition of the Italian national tested positive to the virus last Friday was improving, saying the Incident Command Centre was satisfied with recovery of the infected patient.
Sanwo-Olu said the aim of the meeting with the local government stakeholders was to engage them in propagating accurate information on the virus at the grassroots and also to cascade down communication on how to prevent the human-to-human transmission in case of potential outbreak.
He said: “We have called for this meeting as part of proactive measures we are taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus to our local communities. It is no more news that we are managing a case in Lagos, but the situation does not call for panic. One of the lessons we learnt during the outbreak of Ebola virus six years ago is that, the grassroots was adequately sensitised and prepared.
“We are bringing the lesson back in this period when we are dealing with another highly contagious virus. We don’t want to record any loss of life to this virus. My administration places premium value on human life, which is the reason we have upgraded facilities at our bio-security centre and Infectious Disease Hospital to stop the spread of the virus. But, we believe we will achieve better results in this effort if people at the grassroots are properly sensitised on how to protect their communities from the virus and other contagious diseases.
“Government is doing its best to stop coronavirus, but Government cannot do it alone. It requires collective responsible of everybody living in Lagos to stop the virus. Therefore, what we are doing today is to cascade information on coronavirus down to people in our various communities and towns. We want every resident of the State to have first-hand information on the virus and how to report any possible case to the authorities.”
The Governor asked the stakeholders to disseminate the information to members of their respective communities and sensitise them on how to get information from official sources. He also urged them not to be advocates of misinformation and fake news that may send panic to their neighbours.
He said the State Government would maintain open line of communication with the public on the progress being made in containing the virus, advising members of the public to disregard any piece of information that did not come from official source.
Sharing more updates on the case being managed, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the Government had intensified its search for all persons that had interaction with the isolated patient.
Abayomi disclosed that the Incident Command Centre was still investigating possible transmission of the virus, pointing out that the Centre had identified all the local contacts that interacted with the patient, including some passengers in the aircraft and six other persons who came in contact with the carrier at the airport.
He said: “There were 159 passengers in the aircraft and six people that came in contact with him at the airport. There are 25 people who came in contact with him at the factory; there were two drivers and an ambulance driver. We have quarantined those identified so far at our medical facilities and some of them at home. We are calling them twice a day to check if they are okay. If they develop symptoms, we will bring them to our bio-security facility for test.
“We have identified all of these people except some of the people on the aircraft who have either gone back to Europe and other states. Some of them gave us false information on the phone. We are still trying to find the remaining passengers on that aircraft every day. Our contact list is over 100 persons and this number is increasing every day.”