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Lagos confirms first case of Coronavirus, less than 24 hours after Senator exposes Nigeria’s unpreparedness

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LAGOS State has confirmed its first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, less than 24 hours after Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, exposed Nigeria’s unpreparedness.

During the early hours of Friday, the Federal Ministry of Health announced on its official Twitter page that Nigeria has confirmed its first case of COVID-19. The announcement was supported by a press statement released on Thursday, when the case was confirmed.

In the statement sighted by The ICIR, it was confirmed that the first case in the country is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and came into the country on Tuesday after going to Milan, Italy, for a business meeting.

It was gathered that the patient fell ill on the same day he entered the country and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.

According to Lagos State commissioner of Health, Akin Abayomi, the patient tested positive to the virus after a test was carried out by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The State’s health ministry also announced that the patient is clinically stable.

“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital (Mainland Hospital) in Yaba, Lagos,” the State health ministry said on Twitter.

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This is coming shortly after Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, warned that the window of opportunity for preparedness in Africa is closing.

In Italy, where Nigeria’s first case emanated, reports state that COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 400, amid international efforts to contain the spread of the deadly outbreak.

BBC reports that the rise in Italy, represents a 25% surge in 24 hours. Several European countries have also announced new cases traced to Italy.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected over 81,000 people in 40 different countries and killed more than 2,700 people so far.

Meanwhile, there are fears over Nigeria’s preparedness for the virus.

In a recent investigation, The ICIR found that two major hospitals in the Federal Capital territory are ill-equipped to handle any Coronavirus case.

It was discovered that the National Hospital, Abuja has only a two-bed isolation ward while the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) proposed isolation centre is still largely under construction.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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