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Published On: Mon, Mar 9th, 2020

Coronavirus: 23 suspected cases identified in 5 states

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• FG to verify claims of Covid-19 cure

By Tobias Lengnam with agency report and Shekarau, Jos

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said 23 suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been identified in Edo, Lagos, Ogun, FCT and Kano states, out of which one was confirmed positive – “index case” in Lagos – with no death.
NCDC Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja’ As at March 7, there was no new confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country, the DG said.
NAN reports that this was the eighth national situation report, following the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 disease in the country on Feb. 27, 2020.
Ihekweazu said that a total of 219 contacts were identified, including contacts from hotel, workplace and healthcare workers.
“No new contacts have been reported in Lagos and Ogun states,” he stressed.
He said the confirmed case was clinically stable at the designated treatment facility for COVID-19 at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Yaba, Lagos.
He reiterated that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at level three, had continued to coordinate the national response activities, led by NCDC.
He noted that the field investigations were ongoing and all contacts were undergoing daily symptom monitoring.
According to him, Index patient is currently being managed at IDH, Lagos, while passenger screening is ongoing at all international airports.
He added that there was also centralised follow up of Persons of Interests (POIs) initiated for persons outside Lagos and Ogun states.
Meanwhile, the federal government is to setup a committee to verify claims by scientists for the cure of Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19 and Lassa fever.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said this at the Youths summit organized by the Middle Belt Youths Council in Jos over the weekend.
It would be recalled the Minister recently announced a prize of N36million for any scientist that discovers the cure for Covid-19 and Lassa fever.
According to Dr. Onu, the Nigerian Academy of Sciences is also fully involved in the work of the Committee on the verification of claims for the cure for Covid-19 and Lassa fever.
He further urged Nigerians to strive to surmount any future epidemic challenge and not depend on other nations for solution.
Dr. Onu also implored youths of the Middle-Belt and Nigeria at large, to take advantage of Science and Technology to improve their livelihood and fortunes. He appealed to them to believe that Nigeria can be better and be prepared to contribute their quota to ensure that Nigeria surmounts her challenges.
Dr. Onu also urged Nigerian youths to take advantage of the forthcoming Science and Technology Expo, delve into new technologies and startup businesses that would improve their lives, adding that the Ministry will support them to be employers of labor and creators of wealth.
Earlier the President of the Middle Belt Youth Association, Mr. Emmanuel Zopmal said Nigerian youths should embrace Science, Technology and Innovation to improve their fortunes.

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