A Chinese who took ill was quarantined in Lagos on Wednesday, fuelling the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare in Nigeria’s industrial and commercial hub.
But the Lagos State Government told residents there was no cause for alarm as the blood sample of the Chinese had been taken and sent for examination.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, said last night: “A Chinese male citizen who returned to Nigeria in January took ill today (Wednesday).
“He went to Redington Hospital, Ikeja where he was examined. After the examination, his blood was taken for investigation and referred to Mainland Hospital where he is an isolated ward pending the result of the investigation. Lagosians should not panic,” the permanent secretary said.
The Redington Hospital, through its Group Medical Director (GMD) Dr. Olutunde Lalude, said the preliminary examination did not show the dreaded Coronavirus disease.
In a statement, the GMD dismissed speculations that COVID-19 had been recorded at his hospital.
The statement reads: “We would like to assure the public that there has been NO confirmed case of coronavirus at ANY of the branches of the Reddington hospital as of today (yesterday), 26, February, 2020.
“In the early hours of Wednesday 26 February, 2020, a Chinese national presented himself to Ikeja branch of Reddington Hospital complaining of fever. Following standard protocol, it was ascertained that he arrived in Nigeria from China seven weeks ago and had not been in contact with anyone else who might have coronavirus.
“As a precautionary measure, staff immediately isolated him in accordance with the hospital’s standard operating procedure for potential coronavirus patients.
“The state public health authorities were promptly informed and involved. Despite the risk being assessed to be relatively low according to the currently available science regarding incubation period, blood samples were taken using full prescribed precautions and sent to the Lagos State authorised virology laboratory for analysis and diagnosis.
“The results of the tests will be made available in the next 48 hours. The patient has since been transferred to Lagos State Infectious Disease Hospital at Yaba for further observation while results of tests are being awaited.
“It is to be emphasised that the risk is thought to be low and so far the patient has not been diagnosed with coronavirus disease.
“The Reddington team acted in a highly professional manner and in absolute compliance with international standards. We thank all staff for their diligence and professionalism in dealing with this case. We will continue to pursue strict surveillance of all patients and visitors in all our branches.”