Nigerian who tested positive to COVID-19, now confirmed negative—Minister

THE Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Friday disclosed that the Nigerian who tested positive to the novel virus after having contact with the Italian who first tested to virus, has been confirmed to be negative to the virus.

Ehanire made this disclosure during a press briefing held in Abuja, where he stated that the patient was asymptomatic; which means that he didn’t display any symptom of the disease while in isolation.

The Minister also stated that the index case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, an Italian man remains in isolation ward of the infectious disease hospital in Lagos, where his symptoms are being managed.

Ehanire shared that 42 people have undergone testing for COVID-19 and 40 of them were declared to be negative.

“Between January 7 and March 12, 2020, a total of 42 people who met our case definition have been screened for COVID 19 in Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Yobe, Rivers and Kano states, and the Federal Capital Territory.

“40 tested negative and two were confirmed positive. These two are the index case and a contact with the index case. No death has been recorded,” the Minister said.

The Federal Government has continued to keep the identity of the patient secret.

But health sources disclosed that that the patient is to be discharged immediately following confirmation that his latest test result came out negative.

Meanwhile, globally, over 125,000 persons have been infected with the virus and over 4,500 deaths recorded.

Asymptomatic carriers are a well-known phenomenon. However, in a report by New York Times, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said asymptomatic patients can spread disease efficiently.

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

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