Twenty four hours after five more persons tested positive to coronavirus in Nigeria, otherwise known as COVID-19, four new cases were confirmed in Lagos yesterday, with the Lagos state government tracing no fewer than 1,300 persons. Also, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in self-isolation, shortly after returning from the United Kingdom.
Ondo State in southwestern Nigeria, also yesterday recorded a suspected case of the virus, with the state House of Assembly directing the executive arm of government to close all schools and ban gatherings at all high-density places These came on a day the 36 state governors, under the aegis of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, said they would work in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, to ensure functional testing and isolation centres for the disease are established in every state of the federation.
The governors also set up a committee to review the $57 oil benchmark, falling oil prices, among others. This is even as some major religious denominations and groups, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, yesterday pledged to abide by the ban placed by Lagos and Ogun state governments on public gatherings. Both governments had declared on Wednesday that they would not tolerate gatherings of more than 50 persons in a place, saying the measure is geared towards stemming the spread of the disease.
With the latest addition of four new cases in Lagos, Nigeria now has 12 infected persons. Addressing journalists yesterday in Lagos, Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who also disclosed that the Italian Index case had tested negative to the virus for the first time, explained that a second test would also be conducted on him. He said: “19 people were tested for COVID-19 yesterday (Wednesday) in Lagos and four out of them tested positive to the virus and had been isolated for treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba area of Lagos.” He said the first of the four new cases who tested positive to the disease was a contact of the third case, the woman who returned from the UK some days ago and tested positive, adding that the second new case is a female who returned from France on March 14 aboard aTurkish Airline’s flight.
Also, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, wife of the Nigerian President has disclosed in a series of tweets that one of her daughters was in self-isolation since she came back from London. She said although her daughter did not show any symptoms of the virus, she had to go into self-isolation after returning from the UK. Mrs Buhari, who did not name the daughter in isolation, tweeted: “Good afternoon Nigerians, earlier today (yesterday) my daughter returned from the UK, is among the high-burden listed countries of COVID-19. “Based on the advice of the Minister of Health, Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, and that of NCDC, she is on self-isolation, not because she displayed any symptoms of the COVID-19. “Please, I urge all parents to do the same if possible as prevention is better than cure. Similarly, I have shut down my office for two weeks with immediate effect, while essential staff can work from home as a result of some staff who recently returned from the UK. “Let’s keep following the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, which encourages maintaining social distancing, high hygiene culture through regular washing of hands with soaps and sanitizers. “Let’s adopt preventive measures and ensure the safety of our families and that of the general public. We will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic if we all take the necessary precautions at the same time.”
In a similar development, governors of the 36 states of the federation rose from a meeting early yesterday in Abuja, stressing the need for testing and isolation centres to be established in every state to contain the spread of coronavirus. (assumption) as Governor of Imo State. “The Forum received an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Minister of Health, Dr E. Osagie Ehanire. Governors pledged to work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in every state in the country. “After an extensive discussion of the impact of the COVID-l 9 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigerian economy and the revenues of states governments, the Forum constituted a sub-committee consisting of the governors of Kaduna (Chair), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo and Jigawa.’’