58 people who had contact with the Italian infected with the new coronavirus in Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, have been placed in quarantine, said the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Monday as the situation rapidly evolves.
The first case of new coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa was confirmed Friday, February 28, in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with 200 million inhabitants. In any case, the events of the past few days could suggest a further increase in the number of cases in the days or weeks to come to Nigeria.
Tracing the patient journey “zero”. The Italian, an employee of Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement company located in the state of Ogun, arrived in Lagos from Milan on February 25 and made the journey to his hometown.
Since Friday, he has been hospitalized in a hospital specializing in the treatment of infectious diseases in the Yaba District of Lagos.
Authorities have launched searches to locate anyone with whom he may have been in contact before the diagnosis, and have so far identified 19 people in Lagos and 39 people in Ogun state, the minister said in a statement. a press conference in Abuja.
“We are in contact with these people, who are under supervised self-isolation, and the authorities have provided them with the equipment they need to monitor their temperature,” said Ehanire,
The minister said the measure was aimed at controlling the spread of the disease, which killed more than 3,000 people, mainly in China where it erupted in December.
“Contact tracing is a specialized activity that is done by experts – epidemiologists who know exactly what questions to ask and how to find people,” he said. “
The goal is to know if you have a zero patient, who has been in contact with him and what is the probability that this person has contracted the disease,” he said.
Authorities continue to search for other people who may have been in contact with the Italian patient, including the 156 passengers who were on the same flight as him when he arrived in Nigeria. “We cannot give you a specific number because of it
Nigeria, a special case. Nigeria is considered to be very vulnerable to viral spread due to its weak health system and high population density. However, the authorities and several experts want to be reassuring: “The Ebola epidemic has prompted the governments of many African countries to invest in the creation of national public health institutes.
In these countries, including Nigeria, the response capacity is better-rationalized thanks to a clear coordination platform ”, analyzed a few days ago Chikwe Ihekweazu, lecturer in infectious diseases in London.
An analysis that supports the results of the large study on the risk of African countries carried out on February 20 by international experts, including Inserm, who identified Nigeria as one of the countries most exposed to contamination.
But the study also reveals that Nigeria is in a very good position to face the arrival of the Covid-19. In 2014, the Nigerian authorities had achieved the feat – thanks to Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh – of eliminating the risks of Ebola virus contamination in less than three months.
Six years later, the Nigerian authorities want to repeat this success. Monday at midday, the African continent counted, in addition to the confirmed case in Nigeria, two cases registered in Egypt and three in Algeria, but no death.