Nigeria’s first case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub and most populous city, the Lagos state government confirmed early on Friday.
It is the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa.
An Italian national entered Nigeria on Tuesday from Milan for a brief business visit, and fell ill on the following day, Lagos State Commissioner for Health Akin Abayomi said in a statement.
Abayomi said the COVID-19 case was actually confirmed on Thursday and immediately reported to the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja. The identity of the Italian was not disclosed.
“COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the virology laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the laboratory network of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC),” said the state’s health official.
“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital (now called Mainland Hospital) in Yaba, Lagos,” Abayomi said.
“We will use all the resources made available by the state and the federal government to respond to this case,” he said, adding that health officials are identifying all the contacts of the patient since he arrived in Nigeria.
The state government has been strengthening measures to ensure that “any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly” in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the NCDC, Abayomi said.