The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said Sunday that 23 suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been identified in Edo, Lagos, Ogun, FCT and Kano states, including the index case in Lagos.
This came as four scientists weekend laid claims to have found solutions to coronavirus and Lassa fever, following the promise of N36 million by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to any scientist who is able to find not just a cure but a better way of managing the two diseases.
NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who stated this in Abuja, said as at Saturday, March 7, there was no new confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country.
Ihekweazu said a total of 219 contacts were identified, including contacts from hotel, workplace and healthcare workers.
“No new contacts have been reported in Lagos and Ogun states,” he said, adding that the confirmed case was clinically stable at the designated treatment facility for COVID-19 at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Yaba, Lagos.
He reiterated that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at level three, had continued to coordinate the national response activities, led by NCDC.
He noted that the field investigations were ongoing and all contacts were undergoing daily symptom monitoring.
According to him, Index patient is currently being managed at IDH, Lagos, while passenger screening is ongoing at all international airports.
He added that there was also centralised follow up of Persons of Interests (POIs) initiated for persons outside Lagos and Ogun states.
“Testing of samples collected through the national influenza sentinel surveillance system as part of enhanced surveillance is ongoing.
“A draft tool for tracking and monitoring HCW infection has been developed,” he said.
Ihekweazu said that resources on COVID-19 had been developed by NCDC, for the guidance of schools, Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for health workers.
He said that Nigeria had published the first African SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence, from the COVID-19 case.
This, he said, was carried out in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID, and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.
He added that the project was coordinated by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and NCDC.
Meanwhile, following the promise of N36 million by the Ministry of Science and Technology to any scientist who is able to find not just a cure but a better way of managing Coronavirus and Lassa fever, four scientists in the country have laid claims to have solutions to the ravaging diseases.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who stated this on the sideline of the National Youth Summit of the Middle Belt Youth Council where he delivered a keynote address in Jos weekend, said the claims had been handed over to the Nigerian Academy of Science for a standing committee to assess.
Dr. Onu noted that Nigerians were highly intelligent people with the capacity to proffer solutions to world problems, hence the need to motivate the scientists to give their best in their researches.
He said: “I have had occasion to travel around and met with many people, I am convinced that Nigeria has some of the most intelligent people in the world. When we have problems, I don’t want us to be looking at others for solutions. We should look inward for Nigerians that can solve the problems, so we looked at the budget of the Ministry and decided to encourage our scientists and motivate them.
“We are very serious. So far, we have received about four scientists who sent information that they have what they believe can lead to a cure. The Nigerian Academy of Science has a committee of the very best in this area that can assess the claims. It is not us at the Ministry that will look at it, the Academy would subject the claims to scrutiny and analysis.
“If there are problems in the world, we must make contributions, I am sure all of us would be proud of the cure for these diseases comes from Nigeria.”