Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with the China Embassy in Nigeria to quarantine all Chinese travelling back to Lagos from their country in order to avert outbreak of deadly Coronavirus in the State.
The government said it was putting adequate measures in place to combat possible outbreak of the disease in the state.
At a news conference at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Commissioner for Heath, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the government was leaving nothing to chance to prevent outbreak of the disease in Lagos.
According Abayomi, many people in China living in Lagos had travelled back to their country to celebrate the Chinese New Year and had not returned before the outbreak of Coronavirus in their country.
He said anytime from now, many of them might be thinking of returning to Lagos for their businesses, which he said portended great risk of possible outbreak in Lagos.
Abayomi stated that the state government had met with the Chinese Embassy and that they agreed to send message to their people in China to stay back until the outbreak is curtailed before returning.
The commissioner said if some of them returned in the next few days, the state government had the instruction of the China Embassy to quarantine such Chinese for 14 days to see if they would present symptom of Coronavirus in order to avoid spread of the disease.
Abayomi added that the government was doing everything possible to ensure that there is resilient and measures put in place to checkmate people’s entry into Lagos from outside the country, especially those coming affected countries.
According to him, Lagos is vulnerable and susceptible to entry of the virus due to its large number of trading activities and trading with China, saying that “most Chinese people have gone back to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their families and will be coming back soon. Lagos is a mega city, and it is vulnerable to the virus. Our duty to put all measures in place to prevent outbreak of the virus.
“That is why we have Medical Directors from all our health facilities here. It is important you know what is going. We dont want to experience another Ebola saga. The Coronavirus is a new virus unknown to us. It comes from the animal kingdom to human being. We 6,000 cases so far and over 100 death in 18 nations already.”
He warned Nigerians to avoid travelling to China and other places where the disease had affected, saying, “avoid traveling to China and regions were they are affected. People who travelled and are back should go on self-quarantine or by their offices.”
He said the state government was judiciously following the World Health Organisation’s directives in combating the disease and aligning its strategies with that of the federal, saying that the state had activated its emergency operation centre at the Mainland General Hospital in case the disease broke out in the state.
The commissioner stated that the state government was in regular contact with the Port Authority and the Port Health Centre at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to screen people coming into the country and obtain contacts of such people in case of any eventuality to make tracing them easy.
He added that government was currently engaged in public awareness and social mobilisation and that it had ensured that all general hospitals were in state of preparedness.