First COVID-19 case reported in Nigeria recovers: Lagos government

Lagos State Commissioner for Health Professor Akin Abayomi (centre) during a past press conference on the response to the coronavirus. COURTESY: TWITTER/Lagos State Ministry of Health

The first case of coronavirus reported in Nigeria, an Italian national who flew into the country through Istanbul, Turkey, has recovered, the Lagos state government said on Friday.

The State Commissioner for Health Professor Akin Abayomi told journalists that the patient will undergo a confirmatory test before he was released.

“I am happy to inform you that the index case has now cleared the virus, we will check him one more time and if he is negative, he would be discharged. Our second case, as you would recall, has been discharged while others receiving care at our biosecurity unit are doing well” Abayomi said.

Abayomi had previously said that the reason the Italian was still in admission despite being “perfectly well” was because their tests confirmed he was still secreting small amount of virus which meant that he was potentially still contagious.

The Italian had been receiving medical attention at the Lagos Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital in the Yaba suburb.

“The index patient appreciated the exceptional care and support given to him by staff of the mainland infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba and all members of the EOC and Lagos State Government”, the Lagos state government said.

The Italian becomes the second person in the West African nation to be discharged from hospital over the coronavirus after a Nigerian man who was infected after coming into contact with him.

On Thursday, Abayomi said that there were four new cases of the coronavirus which brought the total number of confirmed cases in Lagos state to 11, of which nine were active.

Abayomi added that the state government will be conducting a clinical trial on the effectiveness of chloroquine in the prevention or management of the coronavirus infection.

“We do not have any hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing or managing COVID-19. We are watching the global research space to clearly define its efficiency in,” Abayomi said.