Coronavirus: Nigerian Health Minister says all people coming from china to self isolate as the country also battles with Lassa Fever

Dr Osagie Ehanire
The Nigeria's Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire has said Nigerians coming from China should indulge in self isolation just as the cases of Lassa fiver are reported in many parts of the country. 

He called on those who went to China in the past fortnight to “self isolate” for at least 14 days to protect their families and communities.

The deadly mysterious killer virus has spread to dozens of countries and has killed hundreds with thousands more infected in China, the epic centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Lassa, the minister said , the advisory is that all doctors should be aware because Lassa fever can pop up anywhere. When the doctors get somebody with fever, the first thing they think about is malaria because the symptoms are similar, so doctors should be aware.” Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said.

Edo, Ondo, Eboyi, Osun Nasarawa, Taraba, Bauchi are among the states in Nigeria where Lassa fever are currently reported and been treated.

“There is a particular medicine that has been developed, which has helped saved a lot of lives- ribavirin- which we have in large quantity and distribute and has helped a lot in saving lives.” Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

“The majority of cases will likely be the risk of coming in by air, International airports are under heavy surveillance by the Port Health services and by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.” Minister of Health'

During a live program on a National Television (NTA) Dr Osagie: “We have at least 5 laboratories that can diagnose Lassa fever within 4 hours and that’s a tremendous improvement.” Minister of Health." “We have a good complement of staff now but when we have a threat, there is increased need for man power and an application has been made now for more man power to bring in trained personnel.” Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

“Regarding the coronavirus, the alarm has gone out from WHO that countries should be vigilant, but they have not declared it a disease of public health concern.” the Minister said.

“Everything there is to know about the virus is not yet known and that’s why researchers are working on it. All we know now is that it is transmitted by droplets, coughing and sneezing in the presence of other people.” Minister of Health.

The Coronavirus is new and it is very similar to other viruses, but we don’t expect this virus to get to rural areas except people who have travelled out went to rural area, so an advisory has been issued out that all people coming from china to self isolate.” Minister of Health,.

We are planning an inter-ministerial summit on health related issues, the design has been done and the technical committees will talk to each other.” Minister of Health, he concluded.

So far, no African country has confirmed the China's virus in their domain but some are attributing it to lack of monitoring and medical equipment to early discover such.

But the Minister on Sunday said Nigeria, with the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO), acquired in-country capacity to test for coronavirus.

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