Six weeks old baby among Nigeria’s five new coronavirus cases

A six-week-old baby, one of newly confirmed five cases, is the youngest COVID-19 patient in the country, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said on Wednesday.

Mr Ehanire, while briefing journalists in Abuja said Nigeria has recorded five new cases of COVID-19, bringing to eight the total number of confirmed cases in the country.

He said all five cases have travel histories to the U.K. and U.S.

Of the five cases, four were detected from people who flew into the country and one from an American who had entered into the country through the land borders.

Mr Ehanire said it unfortunate that the newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is within the last 36 hours, in which the third case was confirmed.

So far, nobody has died from the disease in Nigeria and one of the earlier three cases has completely recovered.

The announcement was made just as the country announced travel restrictions from 13 countries with high coronavirus cases.

The affected countries are; China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, United States of America, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands & Switzerland.

The travel restriction will commence on March 21.

Meanwhile, of the five new positive cases three arrived from the U. S., while two came in from the UK.

Mr Ehanire said the government is still collating information on the travellers.

He explained that two of the three from the U.S. are Nigerian – a mother and child, making the six-week old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient in the country. The third is an American national, who crossed the land border, the first Covid-19 case not arriving by air.

Meanwhile, the other two cases from the U.K. are also Nigerians.

This implies that a total of six Nigerians and two foreigners (one Italian and American) have been infected in the country.

In the meantime, Mr Ehanire said a detailed travel history of each person is being compiled and persons who have been in contact with them are currently being traced.

“The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and supported by partners, is supporting response in the states.

“The federal government, through the ministry of health, is conducting (a) risk assessment to help guide decision making, he said.

Mr Ehanire also urged citizens not to panic, but allow experts in public health to guide responses in a calculated, scientific manner.

He said so far, all the cases of COVID-19 reported in the country so far appear to have mild symptoms and are in recovery.

“To protect yourselves and your families, I urge everyone to continue to take care and caution as advised. Government will do the needful to protect citizens’ health,” he added.

While new cases are being reported, the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has prohibited all travel by public servants and a suspension of the visa on arrival policy till further notice.

With these newly confirmed cases, Nigeria is now at par with Rwanda.

The government has issued a firm travel advisory against non-essential travel to high burden countries, especially in view of the number of Nigerians who arrived from the U.S. and Europe and are being diagnosed in the past 48 hours with coronavirus infection.

It has also been made mandatory that all persons returning from overseas self-isolate for observation for 14-days, even if they feel well. NCDC said it will disseminate information on this practice.

It ordered a “Supervised self-isolation, including testing of persons returning from nations with community transmission of more than 1,000 cases cumulatively, for 14 days by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Port Health Services.”

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