Dr Solomon Chollom, a virologist and medical laboratory scientist with the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Plateau State, has called on the Federal Government to identify and quarantine other passengers who had contact with the Italian in the plane or at the airport.
Chollom, told News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), on Friday in Abuja, that the passengers who were onboard the plane that flew in the Italian must be quarantined because the symptoms start showing after three days.
They must be quarantined for 21, he said.
“This is not time to be frivolous with Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) strategies, especially the use of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and use of alcohol-based solutions for disinfection of surfaces.
“Patients presenting with respiratory symptoms should be treated as category A risk individuals.
”With the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, it is now clear that the virus is here in the country.
“ This calls for a national health emergency first in all hospital facilities in Nigeria.
“The second emergency should be in public places such as schools, markets, worship centres and motor parks.
“Health awareness should immediately permeate such places to limit handshakes and undue contact with surfaces and individuals.
“People should be informed to cough into tissue papers and disposed into alcohol-based solutions,” he said.
The laboratory scientist urged the federal government to immediately direct that hand sanitisers and hand wash stations be mounted public places like schools, motor parks, markets and worship centres.
“And people should be advised to use them.
” If we cannot stop international flights into Nigeria at the moment, we should be able to censor and subject immigrants to baseline medical investigations and quarantine those with high possibilities of carrying the virus
”Lagos State should be commended for being proactive by instituting a mobile hospital at the International Airport in anticipation of this emergency.
“It is no surprise that the state has been able to detect a case of the virus from an international traveler,” he said.
He suggested that other entry points to the country should be equipped to detect the virus and other such infections.
“One can only assume that other international airports in the country that do not have the proactive measures taken by Lagos state or capabilities of tertiary hospitals are serving as blind entry points for potential carriers of the virus.
“In this wise, Nigeria may be in for a health emergency to dread, God forbid!”, he said.(NAN)