The first case of Coronavirus in Nigeria, an Italian who flew into the country via Istanbul has tested negative and certified fit to go home, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared.
Sanwo-Olu, who is the incident commander for COVID-19 in Lagos State said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile on Saturday that after weeks of medical attention by health workers at the Infectious diseases hospital, Yaba that the patient has now tested negative to the virus and has been released to return home.
“As the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Lagos State, I am glad to inform you that the index case, an Italian gentleman is now negative.
“Through a combined effort of Lagos State, Ogun State and Federal Health Authorities, we were able to limit the transmission of the virus to a single contact. This involved aggressive contact tracing and containment strategies.” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor said that there are new imported cases, saying that he hopes the same contact tracing strategy can be applied along with social distancing practices to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from the new cases.
He revealed that index patient graciously donated a unit of white blood before he was discharged. He said the white blood, otherwise called plasma is rich in antibody proteins that target COVID19 virus.
The white blood plasma, the Governor said is frozen in the State’s Bio-bank and will be useful in handling new cases.
He said: “the blood plasma will be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for COVID-19”.
Governor Sanwo-Olu applauded the professional handling of the index patient by the Lagos State medical personnel, the EOC team and others who collaborated with the State Government and the Federal Government for the success recorded.
Sanwo-Olu however reminded all residents to keep safe, saying that the COVID-19 is real and it’s with us in the community but maintained that we can defeat it if we follow basic instructions as being sent out daily by the State and Federal Ministries of health.
He enjoined the residents to scale up their personal hygiene habits, by washing their hands regularly with soap and water, avoid large crowds of more than fifty persons and practice social distancing.
The index patient appreciated the exceptional care and support given to him by staff of the mainland infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba and all members of the EOC and Lagos State Government.