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Coronavirus: Why we won’t reveal Italian identity – Lagos govt

The Lagos State government has said it will not disclose the identity of an Italian national who tested positive to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), insisting it…

The Lagos State government has said it will not disclose the identity of an Italian national who tested positive to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), insisting it is against the ethics of  medical practice to give out information about the identity of the patient.

Many Nigerians have been calling on government to disclose the identity of the Italian since he was announced as the first person with the virus in the country.

In a press parley with reporters at the Lagos Ministry of health on Wednesday, the Commissioner for health, Prof Akin Abayomi said the rules of engagement regarding patient-doctor confidentiality had compelled him not to disclose the name and other personal information of the Italian.

He disclosed that the Italian man was responding to treatment, adding that a new treatment had commenced for the index case in the isolation ward at the Mainland hospital in Lagos.

In his explanation, Abayomi said: “We started a new treatment for him two days ago which he is responding fine to. He is comfortable but bored. At the moment, we are trying to make him comfortable because he is the only person in the isolation room with 14 beds, he has nothing to do all day long, nobody wants to come and visit him.
We’ve made provisions for him to have wifi to connect to the outside world.”

“We are testing him everyday. What we are looking forward to is to see if there is still evidence of the virus in his secretion. The moment we stop seeing the footprint of the virus, then we wait for an extra two to three days to make sure he is okay.

“Sometimes, when you clear the virus, there is an element of rebound before it goes away. If there is a rebound and we release him, there are chances of infecting people around him.”


Tracing of contacts

He said: “On the flight, we have up to date, 149 persons out of which 84 of them are based in Lagos and 65 of them have travelled out of Lagos. We are using WHO and state epidemiologists to track them because they are no longer in our jurisdiction.

“Out of the 84 based in Lagos, 49 are reachable while 35 are unreachable. We are trying our best through other means to contact them. As for the 35 that are unreacheable, this is due to the abnormal data they might have provided for us in their forms; wrong information, both telephone numbers, residential and the next of kin.

“35 out of the contacts in Ogun State are still under the 14 day quarantine and from the information I gathered from the Commissioner in Ogun, so far nobody has developed the symptom.

“Six people from the hotel he lodged in Lagos are also being monitored. The drivers that were involved are also being monitored and so far, no symptom too.”

He added that so far, four people have been tested and three of them tested negative, only the Italian man has tested positive and is the only one in isolation.

Patient’s recovery

He expressed his optimism that the patient will recover.

He said: “There should be a correlation between his improved state and the reduction in the virus; how does the virus reduce? It reduces because the body has its immune system, and the body is fighting the virus, that is how he will recover from this infections because most viruses we don’t have treatment for them.

“It is his own body that is his own medicine. As his immune system finds this virus, it starts to mount an attack against this and eventually there is a battle between his immune system and the virus and the outcome of that battle is what happens.

“If his immune system win, then he will survive, if the virus wins then there is a possibility of death. What we do as doctor is to try to give the correct medicine.”

According to reports, there are a total of 90,936 confirmed cases worldwide – although more than half of those (47,995) have already recovered.

The total death toll stands at 3,117 with 2,936 of those coming from China.

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