China has shared its treatment procedure of the coronavirus (Covid-19) with Nigeria, the health minister, Osagie Ehanire, has said
Mr Ehanire while briefing journalists in Abuja on the newly confirmed case in Lagos on Friday said China had shared with Nigeria some of the treatment knowledge gathered while treating patients with the disease.
Mr Ehanire said China did that out of its good gesture and relationship with the country.
Nigeria on Friday confirmed its first case of the coronavirus disease which originated from China in December and has since spread to over 50 countries.
While Nigeria is just experiencing its first case and the third country in Africa after Egypt and Algeria, who confirmed a case each, many countries in Europe and the Middle East have been reporting the outbreak and deaths from the disease.
Mr Ehanire said “China knows more about the disease and they have made some successful treatments”.
“We have received a lot of cooperation from the ambassador of China who had come to visit twice to reassure us of his commitment and to give us the support in anyway.
“They have sent us a treatment protocol because they have succeeded in treating over four or five thousand people in their country and we have sent the protocol to our centres here to study and add what they already know. They have shared the treatment procedures with Nigeria and this will assist in the treatment of confirmed cases,” he said.
He said this will help the country and the experts will not be fighting blind like China did because the virus is a new one “and it’s behaviour is not yet very well known.
He, however, said the country will also keep watching out for new information and results from ongoing researches on the virus and updating when necessary.
Officially, the exact cure of the disease has not been determined, but over 20,000 infected persons have recovered from the disease in China.
In China – the epicentre of the disease – the National Health Commission on Friday reported at least 47 new coronavirus deaths, bringing to 2,791 the number of fatalities in the country.
Coronavirus has killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than 83,000 worldwide.
Briefing the media, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said as of 6 a.m. Geneva time on Friday, China had reported a total of 78,959 cases to WHO, including 2791 deaths.
“In the past 24 hours, China reported 329 COVID19 cases – the lowest in over a month”
As of February 25, he said, 29,745 people in China had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
Outside China, there are now 4351 cases in 49 countries and 67 deaths.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a global health emergency of international concern by the WHO in January when cases of the disease kept on spreading within China and other countries.
China is the epicentre for the disease, however, the rapid spread of the disease in three countries, Iran, Italy and South Korea, has been raising international concerns. Meanwhile, Iran and Italy are fast becoming hotspots after experiencing dozens of deaths and infections.
Since Thursday, five countries, Nigeria inclusive, have reported their first COVID-19 cases. All these cases have links to Italy.
Twenty-four cases have been exported from Italy to 14 countries, and 97 cases have been exported from Iran to 11 countries.
On Friday, Nigeria’s health minister said the name of the Italian patient in Nigeria can not be disclosed because of patient confidentiality.
Mr Ehanire said his relief is that the patient has not shown serious symptoms and as far as statistics are concerned up to 97 per cent of those who have coronavirus do recover and their lives saved.
“The terrible thing about the disease is that it spreads extremely easily and people can get it. We have enough commodities, the federal government has released funds and we have been able to order for enough commodities that we need,” he said.
He also commended Lagos State for its prompt action and said he knows they are well prepared based on the previous experience garnered from the Ebola outbreak.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has also activated the emergency operations center (EOC) and will be sending experts to assist Lagos State with contact tracing and case detection.
Mr Ehanire, however, said Nigeria is following the WHO’s advice that there is no need for every country to put every single traveller on quarantine.
He said some countries chose to do differently but Nigeria is following the guidelines of WHO which says “screen all persons entering your country, take their travel history if they are coming from a country that has a high burden of coronavirus, invite them for questioning, give them a phone number to call in case of emergency and advise them in the interest of their families to stay in self isolation for 14days and report and symptoms immediately.”
He said the monitoring team will call if the quarantined persons do not call.
“If they don’t call, we will call and find out how they are and if there are suspicious symptoms we will send an ambulance to go get them,” he said.