Nige­ria can deal with coro­n­avirus – NCDC

The Punch - - HEALTH - Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

THE Na­tional Cen­tre for Dis­ease Con­trol on Tues­day said Nige­ria’s lab­o­ra­tory ca­pac­ity could deal with the new coro­n­avirus if it found its way into the coun­try.

The NCDC also said the Fed­eral Min­istry of Health Port Health Ser­vices was on alert at the na­tion’s bor­ders be­cause of the out­break of the new coro­n­avirus in China.

It stressed that the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion had no­ti­fied Nige­ria of the pos­si­bil­ity of the dis­ease spread­ing to coun­tries out­side the Asia.

In a mes­sage re­leased by the cen­tre on Mon­day, the NCDC said the dis­ease was ca­pa­ble of caus­ing death, while call­ing on trav­ellers from China to visit a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity or any of the cen­tre’s of­fices if they fell ill.

It said, “The NCDC is aware of the on­go­ing out­break of a novel coro­n­avirus in Wuhan, China. We have re­ceived guid­ance from the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, not­ing that the risk of spread to coun­tries out­side the re­gion is low. The Fed­eral Min­istry of Health’s Port Health Ser­vices is on alert at points of en­try.

“Com­mon signs of coro­n­avirus in­fec­tion are fever, cough, short­ness of breath and breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. In se­vere cases, in­fec­tion can cause pneu­mo­nia, kid­ney fail­ure and death. Trav­ellers from Wuhan, China to Nige­ria are ad­vised to re­port to a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity and NCDC if they feel ill.”

Speak­ing dur­ing the in­spec­tion of the Na­tional Ref­er­ence Lab­o­ra­tory in Abuja, the NCDC Lab­o­ra­tory Net­worn Ad­viser, Ce­lestina Obiekea, said the coun­try had or­dered the re-agent of the virus in or­der to de­velop the ca­pac­ity to test the sam­ple.

She said, “We have the equip­ment but the ques­tion now is that do we have the re-agent? For coro­n­avirus, we are ex­pect­ing a ship­ment of the re-agent. Be­fore now, it was not re­aly a con­cern. Even in China, they were not think­ing about it. This is why global in­for­ma­tion is im­por­tant. We know that our port of en­try is por­ous and pos­si­ble for some­one in­fected to come in.

“One of the things that this has done for us is to put us on the alert and put ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sure in place. What we have done now is to re­quest for the re-agent to be ale to do the test­ing like we did for Ebola.”

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