On 27 February 2020, the Minister of Health of Nigeria, Dr Osagie Ehanire, confirmed a case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria.
In his statement, he confirmed that the patient is male, Italian, who travelled from Milan to Lagos on 25 February 2020. He was confirmed positive to the virus infection at the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
The patient is said to be stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed in an isolation unit at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. All contacts of the patient are currently being traced and identified for immediate medical support.
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is in direct communication with the Nigerian officials through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and is working with the World Health Organization and other partners to support response by the Nigerian Government.
Africa CDC has deployed one epidemiologist to Nigeria to support assessment and response to the outbreak, and has shipped 1000 COVID-19 laboratory test kits to the country. This is in addition to test kits provided to representatives of Nigeria who attended the training on COVID-19 laboratory diagnostics organized by Africa CDC for 16 African countries in Dakar, Senegal, three weeks ago, and other test kits supplied by the WHO.
Nigeria is well capacitated to respond to the outbreak. The country has been part of preparedness efforts implemented by Africa CDC with all African Union Member States. Nigeria was represented in the training by Africa CDC on enhanced surveillance for COVID-19 held in Nairobi, Kenya, and the training on infection prevention and control held in Abuja, Nigeria, last week. Two Nigerians are also among participants in the training on public health risk communication currently holding in Tunis, Tunisia.
Africa CDC had anticipated that COVID-19 outbreak would inevitably impact Africa and has been working actively with African Union Member States and partners on preparedness and response to the disease in the continent.
Africa CDC will continue to work with African Union Member States to ensure the health security of Africa.
Dr John Nkengasong
Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention