The Lagos State Government has launched a manhunt for two Nigerians who were aboard the Turkish airline which the Italian man, who tested positive to the Coronavirus disease, boarded to Lagos.
The state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on Monday while briefing newsmen in Lagos on updates on the index case who has been isolated and currently receiving treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.
He said the Nigerians’ names are: Mr Emweluta Godfrey Obumnore and Mr Salami Abiodun Sadeeq.
The commissioner said the duo have been unreachable since the plane landed in Lagos, saying all attempts to contact them so as to ensure they are in isolation have proved abortive, hence the need to reveal their identities.
He urged them to get in touch with the State or Federal Ministry of Health or the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) if they are in still Nigeria.
“There is no cause for alarm. Our approach is to keep life and business going as usual. Our will is to minimize it. We are being aggressive in trying to curb the spread of the virus in Lagos and Nigeria.
“We have thrown our net around all the contacts of the index and second case. We are trying to test all the contacts from the index case just to make sure we didn’t give the virus the chance to take us by surprise,” Prof. Abayomi said.
Speaking further, the Lagos health commissioner said a Nigerian man who lives in Ogun state and works at the Lafarge factory in same Ogun state has tested positive to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), thus becoming the second confirmed case in Nigeria.
The man, whose identity was undisclosed, had a close working relationship with the Italian man 12 days ago before he tested positive to the virus, he added.
According to him, the Nigerian has been in isolation since the Italian was confirmed. He was among the 40 people who had contact with the index case in Ogun State but, he was said to work closely with the Italian during his stay at the Lafarge factory in Ewekoro, he stated.
Prof. Abayomi pointed out that samples were collected from the 40 contacts of the index case while in isolation in Ewekoro, adding that after testing them at the Lagos laboratory, only one person tested positive.
“Out of the 40, we detected one positive. He spent a lot of time with the index case during his stay in Lafarge. The Nigerian has been under surveillance. He has had contact with only few people and they will be in isolation too for 14 days.
“We will receive the Nigerian in the infectious disease hospital in Yaba before the end of today. He is being brought to Lagos because the equipments, facility and manpower are available,” the commissioner said.
He noted that so far, 12 people have been tested negative at the laboratory after returning from a high risk country.
He added that the facility at the Mainland hospital in Yaba has been a beehive of activity as people who felt sick after returning from a journey outside the country has been to the hospital for tests to determine their status.
At the moment, he said, there are three people at the facility who are undergoing tests.
Commenting on the Italian man who was tested positive on February 27, 2020, the Commissioner said: “He is doing well. He has no fever. His body has overcome the virus. As soon as he eliminates the virus, we will allow him into the community. The only reason he is still with us is because he is still testing positive.”