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Coronavorus: FG asks Nigerians not to panic as 6-month old baby, mother isolated


A 6-month old baby and the mother are among the five new confirmed carriers of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Three of the new cases are Nigerians who returned from the United States and the United Kingdom while the fourth is an American, who came into Nigerian from Benin Republic, crossing the supposedly closed border between the two countries.

The fifth , also a Nigerian, was recorded in Ekiti State, the first outside Lagos.

The latest cases bring to eight, the total number of persons that have tested positive to the pandemic virus.

Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire and Lagos State Health Commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known in Abuja and Lagos on Wednesday.

The minister said: “We are still collating information on the travelers; two of the three from the U.S. are Nigerians, a mother and her child, making the six weeks old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient we have. The third is an American national, who crossed the land border and became the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air.

“The two cases from the UK are Nigerians. A detailed travel history of each person is being compiled and contacts currently being traced, to identify persons who have recently been in contact with them.”

He urged Nigerians not to panic since the “ National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by partners, is supporting response in the states.”

The minister advised Nigerians and foreigners in the country to always allow experts in public health to guide their response to the pandemic in a calculated and scientific manner.

He said: “Remember there is an emergency operation centre that is in place , and ready to move very quickly to send rapid response team to support states that may be affected.

“False information and rumour to cause fear and panic must be avoided at such times. The COVID-19 cases so far appear to have mild symptoms and are in recovery.

“To protect yourselves and your families, I urge everyone to continue to take care and caution as advised. Government will do the needful to protect citizens’ health.”

The minister also spoke on the rumor of coronavirus in Katsina and the death of an aged woman, who tested negative in Enugu.

In Lagos, the Health commissioner, said the infected baby and the mum returned to Lagos from the U.S. on March 8 via a Virgin Atlantic flight, VS 411.

One of the three remaining new cases, according to him, also arrived Nigeria from the same country through Virgin Atlantic VS 411 on March 13. .

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His words: “We received four samples that tested positive. The first two samples belong to a Nigerian mother and her six-week old baby.

“The mother developed COVID-19 symptoms; mother and child were tested and were positive. They are on admission at Yaba Mainland Hospital.

“We have an American citizen who crossed into Nigeria on March 13 via Nigeria/Benin republic land border; he also was tested yesterday and the result shows that he is positive.

“We also have a Nigeria male that returned from the UK who tested positive too.

The commissioner added that contact tracing was ongoing and would be extended to those who may have had contact with the newly- infected patients .

Abayomi said: “Each of these categories has initiated what we call line listing or contact tracing and that process is on-going.

“We are first starting with members of their families and extending it to any possible person they may have come in contact with, which includes identifying the airline manifests of those airline travellers so that we can initiate contact with passengers on that flight and ask them to exercise self-isolation and report to us if there are any symptoms