Nigeria’s coronavirus first index case discharged

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The first patient confirmed to be positive with coronavirus has been discharged after testing negative and certified to go home following weeks of isolation and treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.

The first case, an Italian, flew into Nigeria via Istanbul some few weeks ago on a business trip in Lagos and Ogun State.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is the incident commander for COVID-19 in Lagos State disclosed this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile on Saturday.

He said 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 that same contact tracing strategy method can be applied along with social distancing practices to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from the new cases.

Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi
Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi

The incident Commander 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.

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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.

 Lagos state health officials in a group photo with the discharged talian
Lagos state health officials in a group photo with the discharged talian

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.

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