Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, has said the index patient of the deadly Coronavirus in Nigeria was not aware that he had the disease prior to his arrival in the country.
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The index patient, a 44-year-old Italian citizen, was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 on Friday after series of tests were carried out by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Speaking in an interview on Sunday, Ehanire stressed that plans are ongoing to ensure that the case remains just one.
He added that a meeting with relevant stakeholders will hold on Monday to ascertain the progress made in containing the spread of the virus.
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“We are in the phase of trying to carry out containment so that if possible, it does not go beyond the one index case that has entered the country.
“He was not in the knowledge of what he had that he was carrying any particular kind of illness and we are happy that he is responding.
“It does seem as if his own illness is running rather mildly the way it looks and his viral load has begun to drop which means he is on his way to recovery,” Ehanire said on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television.
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The health minister explained that due to the newness of the virus, there is no confirmed pattern for the survival of the virus whether in warm or cold weather.
He urged Nigerians to always ensure that they maintain proper hygiene and not be complacent.
He also lamented about the high cost of personal protective equipment such as face mask and hand sanitizers following the confirmation of Covid Nigeria in Nigeria.
The minister, however, said the Federal Government cannot regulate the price of such items as the country operates an open economy.
“The government is concerned about prices going up. But you see, we operate a market economy. Those who are traders and suppliers are doing a brisk business by trying to increase importation and those who manufacture are also doing a brisk business scaling up the manufacturing of all these products.
“So it is not surprising that the prices go up at the moment. The government makes sure that those agencies and organisations that need to have these materials have them,” Ehanire said.
He added that the prices of the kits “will drop when traders import more of these products”.