By Monsuru Olowoopejo
The Ekiti State Government has narrated how a 38-year-old indigene of the state had contracted coronavirus from an American national that died in Nigeria and further spread the disease to Oyo state.
While confirming that the indigene, a driver, contracted the virus from a deceased male American Caucasian, the government hinted that the 27-year-old American national was visiting Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia, United States (US) in the company of his 31years old Nigerian female caregiver of Ekiti Origin.
Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, in a statement on Wednesday, stressed that the government had contacted Oyo State Government, to curtail further spread of disease in the country.
Yaya-Kolade said: “The American male and his Nigerian female caregiver, arrived Nigeria on 3rd March 2020 through the Muritala Mohammed International Airport Lagos. Preliminary investigations revealed that the pair were driven by our confirmed case to Ibadan, where they stayed for two weeks, and arrived Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on 13th March, 2020.
“A day after their arrival, the American male fell ill and he was taken to a private hospital where he was referred to a tertiary hospital. Unfortunately, he died from complications of his illness.
“The hospital authorities alerted the State Taskforce and samples were taken from the American male as well as his two companions. The test for the male driver came back positive; the test for the female caregiver came back negative while the test for the American male was inconclusive.
“In line with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, the Ekiti State Taskforce on coronavirus has already quarantined the confirmed case on admission in the State Isolation Centre, while the caregiver who tested negative, is presently under observation in self-isolation”.
The commissioner disclosed that state health officials have commenced a process of contact tracing in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) following the team’s itinerary since they landed in Nigeria earlier in the month.
“We have also contacted the Oyo State Government since it was recorded that they stayed in Ibadan for two weeks before arriving the state. The confirmed case is very stable and not showing any symptoms while NCDC will repeat the test for the caregiver who is also in self-isolation.
“The Ekiti State Task Force on COVID-19 is following the NCDC Case Management Protocols with diligence. We want to urge Ekiti residents to stay calm and ensure they observe the prevention steps that are being publicized on all credible media”, the governor added.
She hinted that there were indications that the index case was on a short visit and had not been in Ekiti State for up to 72 hours before his death.
“The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 advises residents to continue to take self-preventive measures by washing their hands with soap and water, covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, observing social distancing and to alert the authorities of any suspected case by calling the 112 Emergency Number or 09062970434, 09062970435, 09062970436.
“The Government of Ekiti State will continue to update the public on new developments as necessary in our commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of all Ekiti residents”.