Eleven suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) tested in Nigeria have tested negative, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.
The centre’s director-general, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, confirmed this on Thursday in Abuja.
Ihekweazu reassured Nigerians of their safety against COVID-19, following rumours of a confirmed case in Lagos.
He said the tests were conducted by the NCDC National Reference Laboratory and Virology Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
“Four laboratories in Nigeria have the capacity to test for the coronavirus. These laboratories are within the NCDC laboratory network and are in contact 24/7. If a new case is confirmed, it will be reported accordingly,” he said.
“We are in close communication with the Lagos State Ministry of Health and other states, and will inform the public once there’s a confirmed case in Nigeria.”
The NCDC boss said that when a high-risk traveller with symptoms arrives the country, the person would be taken from the airport to an isolation centre and samples would be collected immediately for testing.
“If confirmed, appropriate management will commence but if negative, he/she would still be monitored for 14 days and retested,” he said.
“When a high risk traveller that is not symptomatic comes into the country, the person is advised to stay at home for 14 days and report immediately if he/she develops symptoms.
“Furthermore, his contact details are obtained and an official is attached to him/her to monitor him daily for 14 days to see if he develops symptoms.
“If he develops symptoms within 14 days of arrival in the country, samples would be collected from him for confirmation. If confirmed, he/she goes into our isolation centre where he would be managed appropriately.”
Ihekweazu described a high-risk traveller as someone who has had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or was travelling from China, particularly Wuhan.