The Federal Government has confirmed Nigeria’s second case of Coronavirus.
This was confirmed by Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Enahire while speaking with journalists in Benin, Edo State capital, yesterday.
Osagie revealed that the second case was a man who had contact with the Italian who tested positive for Coronavirus in Lagos.
Ehanire said the patient, who has been in isolation in the last two weeks tested positive on March 8 and is now under quarantine.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in a later tweet that the new case had contact with the Italian in Ogun State.
“This second case is a contact of the index case, in Ogun State. The new case has been in isolation and was tested as part of our strategy to test all contacts of the index case,” Ehanire said.
“Since the first case was confirmed in Lagos, the NCDC has been supporting the Ogun State Emergency Operations Centre to respond accordingly.
“We urge the public not to panic. You can protect yourself using these six steps”.
“Recent studies have shown that increased surveillance, isolation of contacts and in particular, contact tracing reduces the risk of spread of #COVID19.
“All other contacts of the index case in Ogun and Lagos will remain in isolation and testing will be done on those not yet tested”, NCDC further stated.
The first index case, an Italian, flew into the country on February 24.
He slept at a hotel in Lagos, before moving to Lafarge Africa Cement premises in Ewekoro Ogun state, the next day.
He tested positive for the disease two days after and 39 people who had contact with the Italian, who is receiving treatment in Lagos, were also quarantined.
Ehanire’s full statement reads, “Two new developments have taken place since the last briefing in Abuja on the Coronavirus situation in Nigeria.
“The first is that a team of researchers from various institutions in Nigeria, including scientists from the Centre for Human and Zoology Virology in LUTH, African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Lagos, combined their efforts to successfully perform the genome sequencing of the Coronavirus strain that the index case brought to Nigeria and proved it to be a match with the virus circulating in Italy and Wuhan.
“This was coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health and NCDC. It is the first time the sequencing of this virus has been performed in Africa. The result has been shared with international authorities and the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has extended congratulations to Nigerian scientists for this achievement.
“The other development is that contact tracing and monitoring in respect of the Coronavirus index case presently receiving treatment in Lagos, has been diligently and conscientiously pursued since February 27, when the case was first diagnosed. As you know, 40 persons in Ogun and 20 in Lagos are under isolation and have remained free of any symptoms since.
“Nevertheless, the Federal Ministry of Health, following best practice, decided to test these persons for possible presence of Coronavirus in their systems. On 8th March 2020, scientists confirmed the presence of Coronavirus in one of the contacts. It is my duty therefore to announce a new case of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria The newly confirmed case is an Ogun State contact of the index case, but he has no significant clinical symptoms. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria today (Monday) to two.
“Since beginning of the outbreak in China and subsequent spread to other countries, one of the important response strategies at the containment stage, has been to identify all contacts, ensure their strict isolation and to follow up daily with checks for any symptoms of the disease.
“Following recent experience from other countries and evidence from newly published studies on non-symptomatic infections, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), advised that samples should be taken from all contacts of the Index case for testing. It is in this process that this new case was detected.
“I repeat that the newly confirmed case in Nigeria is not a new importation, but a contact of the Index case, who has since been in isolation and was under clinical follow up. He presently does not have any clinical symptoms, is comfortable and in care at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos.
“Recent studies in China have shown that increased surveillance, self isolation and in particular, contact tracing do reduce risk of spread, because further opportunities for transmission of the virus by the infected patient in the community are limited.
“All other contacts of the index case in Ogun and Lagos will remain in isolation and testing will be carried out on those not yet tested, including some in other states.
“On the case reported in the US of Nigerian origin, we are in touch with colleagues at the US Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta and here in Abuja. The case visited Lagos in February 2020. However, given the timelines between the time he was in Nigeria briefly and when he became ill, the likelihood that he was infected in Lagos is very low.
“The Federal Ministry of Heath, and Lagos and Ogun states’ Health Ministries assure citizens of our commitment to do all needed to control spread of this outbreak. Since the first case was confirmed in Nigeria on February 27, 2020, the National Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) in Abuja, continues to work closely with Lagos and Ogun State EOCs to coordinate response activities.
“I again strongly advise against spreading misinformation to cause fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC will continue to provide prompt and reliable updates and initiate all measures required to protect our people.
LGA Boss Vows To Deliver Fubara, Others In Rivers
The Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers State, Hon. Akara Okechukwu, has reiterated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would win all positions from governor to state House of Assembly.
He stated that the foundation of victory had been laid by the Governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike, following his infrastructure development successes in the state.
Okechukwu said this while reacting after the state PDP campaign team visited his area, last Saturday, saying that the people of Oyigbowere ready to reciprocate what the present administration has done for the LGA in every aspect.
“I have no fear, and I am convinced that the Governorship candidate of PDP Siminialayi Fubara and other state candidates of the PDP will win.
“The people of Oyigbo have vowed to vote massively for PDP because that is the only way to pay back Governor Wike for his good works, mostly in Oyigbo.
“As I speak, 95percent of people living in the area have their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and this indicates sure victory for our great party. I thank the people for coming out enmasse for the campaign, I am really happy,” Okechukwu said.
Speaking, Chairman, Revenue Committee of the LGA, Senibo Daniel Chijindu, described the massive turn out as historic, saying that it was an indication of total victory.
“I will say that the massive turn out of people was historic because this is the first time people came out enmasse for campaign. Honestly, this is an indication that Oyigbo was ‘Simplified’ and was totally for PDP.
“Governor Wike has given Rivers State, a facelift in all ramifications. That is why Oyigbo people said they are for PDP in totality,” he said.
The revenue boss advised those who register for PVC should go and collect their PVC because that is only way to sustain the good governance of PDP.
Also speaking, former commissioner for commerce and industry and stakeholder of PDP in Oyigbo, Hon. Nancy Nwankwo, said adequate sensitisation has been done for the importance of PVC and vote PDP.
According to her, women in Oyigbowere already prepared to celebrate the victory of SiminialayiFubara come May this year, saying they come out enmasse to vote for PDP.
“I am convinced that SimFubara will do better hence he is civil servant. He has proven his intellectual capacity faithful and truthful to replace Governor Wike,” she said.
By: Tonye Orabere
NCDC Confirms 38 Deaths Of 123 Diphtheria Cases …Says Gaps In Vaccination Coverage Fuelling Outbreak
No fewer than 38 persons have died out of the 123 diphtheria cases recorded in Nigeria so far, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed.
The states currently facing the disease caused by serious infection of the nose and throat that is easily preventable by vaccine, are Kano, Lagos, Yobe and Osun, respectively.
The nation’s disease control and prevention agency, which disclosed this at a ministerial press briefing, organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, said more cases of the disease were being expected in days ahead, as it spreads to other places.
Speaking through its Director of Special Duties, Dr Priscilla Ibekwe, NCDC said: “As of January 22, NCDC have 123 confirmed cases and 38 deaths. 100 cases are from Kano, with 32 deaths. In Lagos there are five cases with three deaths. In Yobe, there 17 confirmed cases and three deaths, and Osun has recorded one case with no death”.
According to Ibekwe, besides clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases.
Ibekwe said the agency was working with state ministries of health and partners to enhance surveillance and response to the outbreak.
She said,”Given the sub-optimal coverage for the third dose of the diphtheria containing pentavalent vaccine (54percent – 2021 MICS & NICS) in the country, we expect more cases from more states.
“The centre has collaborated with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to organize a 5-day workshop on enhancing laboratory diagnosis of diphtheria in Nigeria for laboratory scientists working in NCDC’s National Reference Laboratories and its lab network (this was planned before cases were reported as part of preparedness), and;
“Written to all states HCHs to institute immediate and necessary public health measures for timely detection and response to diphtheria at state level”.
Speaking on measures being put in place to prevent the disease from spreading further, Ibekwe said NCDC has published a public health advisory, accessible on its website, which educates Nigerians on risk factors and offers advice.
She said:”Parents ensuring that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with 3 doses of the pentavalent vaccine. Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria”.
She also spoke on how to better understand and contain the prevailing global outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 variants.
She said:”The sub-lineages i.e., XBB.1.5 partly responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in the US and elsewhere countries have not yet been detected in the country.
“However, this variant has not been associated with increased severity of illness and now appears to be levelling off.
“The variants reported in China so far have been those circulating globally including in Nigeria for some time.”
However, the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control and Prevention has attributed the current outbreak of diphtheria in some parts of Nigeria to a drop in the childhood vaccination coverage in some areas of the country.
The Director-General of the Agency, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who spoke about the development on a television programme, said that there were 34 deaths recorded over the weekend from the outbreak which hit four states.
He said due to the effectiveness of the childhood vaccination programme, most people have forgotten what it looks like.
He said, “Diphtheria, a vaccine preventable disease that used to be common decades ago is on the increase in some states in Nigeria. The fact that there is a resurgence suggests that there is significant reduction in vaccination coverage among pockets of the population and this reduced pockets of immunity has given rise to the cases we have seen.
“It is not a matter of diphtheria spreading from state to state, the bacteria that causes the disease is present everywhere and it spreads, and any state in which you find the disease now is likely to be associated with suboptimal vaccination rates, either in general or in particular in pockets of population. Failure of childhood vaccination in the failed states causing the diphtheria outbreaks.
“Kano has highest number of cases followed by Yobe, by weekend, there were 34 deaths in total.”
He warned that although diphtheria was highly preventable and treatable, fatality can increase without antibiotics and appropriate conditions, including the diphtheria antitoxin. He assured that with early detection and prompt treatment, the fatal outcomes are usually low.
Adetifa stressed that the really severe cases require the diphtheria antitoxin, even as he assured that the NCDC had distributed vials of the antitoxin since December for use in Lagos and Kano states, and was planning to extend availability to every state where the disease cases are found.
“It is important that patients should be recognised early, and laboratory confirmation carried out so that treatment can commence immediately.”
Adetifa said there were arrangements for trainings of personnel for laboratory diagnosis of the toxin including testing for most of the clinical effects.
“We are in a good state to help, but patients need to be recognised early and diagnosis made quickly and they are placed on the right treatment.
“We are using the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA data to predict high risk states, there is connection with low socioeconomic situation, and we need to look out for healthcare workers who can be given courses of antibiotics.
Long-Hour Fasting, Danger To Kidney, NAFDAC Warns
The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. MojisolaAdeyeye, has advised Nigerians against subjecting themselves to long-hour fasting, saying it was risky to their kidneys.
Adeyeye, who attributed the high rate of kidney problems in Nigeria to prolonged fasting by some religious adherents, insisted that those subjecting themselves to prolonged fasting on religious grounds must moderate the act.
She spoke in Abuja, yesterday, while briefing the media on the breakthrough by her agency in tracking high consignments of Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals to the Republic of Benin.
On the high rate of kidney problems in the country, she said: “Kidney failure, we are a very religious country- Muslims and Christians fast a lot and it is part of the kidney problem.
“Your body has to have homeomistatic balance, meaning that the water level in your body must be enough to make your organs to function.
“Some people will fast for 10 or 20 days and drink only little water, the kidney is being punished. Now, if you put chemicals in it, it triples in exponential manner, it damages the kidney because the kidney doesn’t have water to dilute and filter.”
Adeyeye, who tasked Nigerians to fast but with common sense, added: “I fast but with common sense. We have to fast with common sense; otherwise we will pay with our kidneys.”
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