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Frequently asked questions on Coronavirus | Part 1: Covid-19 in Nigeria

  • By now every Nigerian resident should be aware of what COVID-19 is and its effects. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the epidemic and their answers:

What is COVID-19?

  • Coronaviruses are zoonotic (meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people). The COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first reported to WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China.

Is there CoronaVirus in Nigeria?

  • Yes. The first case in Nigeria was confirmed on Thursday, February 27, 2020 in Lagos in a traveller from Italy to Nigeria. As at April 3, 2020 we have a total of 190 cases in Nigeria including 2 deaths and 20 cases discharged.

What is Nigeria doing to control the spread of the disease in the country?

  • The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure Nigeria is prepared in the event of an outbreak. The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by NCDC has been activated to a national Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate response activities. NCDC is working with State Governments to identify and trace contacts of the confirmed case, in Nigeria. The Port Health Services Division of the Department of Public Health has heightened screening and surveillance at the ports of entry, particularly for returning travellers with travel history to countries with ongoing transmission in the last 14 days. Residents of the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Training Programme (NFELTP) are working closely with staff at Port Health Services to screen, review and analyze the forms used for screening at points of entry. This is also for contact tracing when needed. The Federal Government also implemented a lockdown of Lagos and Abuja (which have the highest number of cases n Nigeria) to make contact tracing easier and ensure social distancing is practiced).

Does Nigeria have the capacity to diagnose COVID-19?

  • Yes. There are four laboratories with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in Nigeria. The NCDC National Reference Laboratory; Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Irrua Teaching Hospital; and African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Ede, Osun State. They are all in the NCDC molecular laboratory network. Health officials are advised to call 07032864444 for sample transportation and related advice if they have a case that fits the national case definition.

How do we define a COVID-19 case in Nigeria?

  • Suspect Case:

    Any person (including severely ill patients) with any of the following symptoms: fever, cough or difficulty in breathing who within 14 days before the onset of illness had any of the following exposures:

     

    1. 1. History of travel to any country with confirmed and ongoing community transmission of COVID-19 OR
    2. 2. Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR
    3. 3. Exposure to a healthcare facility where COVID-19 case(s) have been reported

  • Probable case:

    A suspect case for whom testing for COVID-19 is inconclusive or for whom testing was positive on a pan-coronavirus assay.

  • Confirmed case:

    Any person with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection with or without signs and symptoms. If you have a patient that matches the case definition above, please contact NCDC to arrange for sample collection and testing on 07032864444

Where are the treatment centres in Nigeria?

  • In the last one month, NCDC has conducted rapid assessments of potential treatment centres. This assessment focused on identifying gaps and developing plans to rapidly ensure that we are prepared to manage all cases. Treatment centres are located in the five priority states with international airports; Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory. Healthcare workers from these treatment centres have been trained on how to manage COVID-19 cases using approved guidelines. All types of machinery, plant, mechanical equipment and apparatus may be covered under this policy. The policy is important for everyone who operates machines. This policy should support our property insurance and hence this insurance must not be granted on a standalone basis.

     

What should I do when I return to Nigeria from a country with a confirmed case(s) of COVID-19?

  • If you have travelled from any country with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 to Nigeria in the last 14 days, you should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus. If you develop symptoms during this time, immediately contact NCDC on 07032864444 or 0800-970000-10 (toll-free).

     

Frequently asked questions on coronavirus | Part 2: What is my part in making things better?

  • Everyone needs to get familiar with what is going on and know how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. Here are a few things you need to know:

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    1. 1. Cough
    2. 2. Fever
    3. 3. Breathing difficulties

     

    Unwell people who have recently travelled from any country with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 should immediately contact NCDC on 07032864444 or 0800-970000-10 (toll-free).

Am I at risk of getting COVID-19 from a package or products that arrive from countries with a confirmed case(s)?

  • Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods or packages countries with ongoing transmission. Till date, there is no known case of COVID-19 in Nigeria associated with imported goods.

     

What can I do to avoid becoming infected?

  • To reduce the risk of infection or spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following hand and respiratory hygiene measures:

     

    1. 1. Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water and use hand sanitisers frequently

    2. 2. Cover your mouth and nose properly with tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing and immediately dispose of the tissue in a covered waste bin. After this, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.

    3. 3. You may also cough into your elbow if a disposable tissue is not available. You are strongly advised not to re-use handkerchiefs.

    4. 4. If you become sick while travelling, you should avoid close contact with other people while you are symptomatic and cover your mouth and nose with a face mask.

    5. 5. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

    6. 6. Healthcare workers are advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history

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