Coronavirus: FG searching for passengers on aircraft with Italian patient

The federal government is trying to trace most of the 155 passengers in the aircraft that brought to Nigeria the Italian confirmed with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

He said 156 passengers were on the manifest of the flight that brought the Italian.

Daily Trust reports that unlike what obtains in other countries, the name and other details of the Italian patient have not been made public yet.

The minister said some of the passengers on board the aircraft that brought the Italian were yet to be traced because of the ambiguity of the contact information they provided.

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He said: “We cannot give a fixed figure on the contact tracing because it is a continuing process.”

“But the only one we know for sure is the 156 passengers who were on the aircraft with him (the Italian) and those ones are being tracked and we have been talking to them and we are getting cooperation.

“There have been a few challenges. Some people gave telephone numbers that didn’t work or (when called) said switched off. There are some who probably don’t have telephones or some who are new arrivals in Nigeria.

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“They are not yet registered with any telephone company, but there are ways in which they can be found out. Some have probably left the country if they were to be here for a day or two,” he said.

Ehanire said that since the confirmation of the first case of the disease, the government had been focusing on containment including contact tracing to check further spread.

He said that as of yesterday, there was no new confirmed case recorded in Nigeria. “About 14 tests have been done and except that confirmed case, no other person has been confirmed with the disease,” he said.

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The minister said currently, the contacts of the index case traced were 19 in Lagos and 39 in Ogun State.

He said that workers in the hotel where the index case stayed had been interviewed and isolated and that the taxi driver who drove the suspect had been identified and was under supervision.

The minister added that the airline that brought the victim had been advised to also put their crew under observation. “The room he (the Italian) stayed in has been decontaminated, fumigated (and) even the taxi he used has also been treated,” he said.


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