COVID-19, LASG Can’t Trace 35 Passengers on Turkish Airline

 …Asks Residents, WHO to Assist to Curtail Spread

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu says government can’t trace 35 passengers who flew the Turkish Airline which brought the Italian confirmed with Coronavirus, COVID-19 on February 24 to Lagos.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat at a Stakeholders Sensitization Forum on Management and Control of Coronavirus disclosed that 67 passengers had Lagos as their destination out of the 149 on board the Turkish Airline but 35 of them gave phone contacts that could not be traced.

He pleaded with Lagosians that if anyone knows who was on the Turkish Airline on February 24 to immediately call any of the Telephone numbers given by government.

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According to Governor Sanwoolu, it is very important that the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) is curtailed in the State hence the need for everyone to come forward with information that can help government to track individuals who may be exhibiting some symptoms of the virus.

He however cautioned on the habit of spreading fake and unauthenticated news which not only sap the energy of the medical team but fuels misinformation.

Lagos Stakeholders at the Coronavirus Sensitization

Earlier, State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi said of the 159 passengers who arrived on board the Turkish Airline, 67 had Lagos as their destination out of which the Ministry has been able to trace 41 in Lagos.

Giving updates on the condition of the Italian under watch at the Isolation centre, Prof. Abayomi said the man is in stable condition with mild to moderate exhibition of the COVID-19 and less coughs.

According to the Commissioner, “We’ve been managing him since the 28th and so far he seems to be a mild to moderate case of Coronavirus and we haven’t seen any tendency for him to develop any major complication.

“His breathing is fine. He has a slight cough but he is comfortable in one of our newly refurbished isolation units; there are fourteen beds and his ward and he is the only one in there and quite lonely.

“But we have contacted the Italian Embassy and they have sent him Books, Telephone and he is on Wifi and he has also a little bit of his cultural food and change of clothes and of course, nothing can leave the isolation wards as anything within the isolation ward would be destroyed when he is being discharged”, the Commissioner said.

He assured that the Italian would be kept in the Isolation ward until the tests show he is no longer secreting the virus.

The Commissioner told newsmen that the test for Coronavirus is not a blood test but a specimen from the orifice and from the lungs “because that is where the virus is being secreted”, he said.

He explained that as long as an individual still secretes the Coronavirus, he can transmit it hence the need to monitor closely to ensure when it is negative it is truly negative.

He however explained that since the Italian has been in the Isolation ward, all those who came in contact with him are being traced and followed to ensure none developed the disease which he said is “very contagious”.

“We started with the Airline, the Hotel he stayed in Ikeja and of course his place of work.

“As for the Airline, there were 149 passengers on the flight including the crew, 67 of them are in Lagos, we have managed to reach 41 and 35 are not reachable. What that means is that there are wrong information on the forms, wrong addresses or that the numbers they gave do not just work or they have just moved out of the area knowing people are very mobile and must have come into Lagos on their way to other states or other countries”, said Abayomi.

He however assured that once they get the information on which country some of the people came from, would be using the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international bodies to send alert to the countries to say that we have information on the Airline who may have come into contact with a confirmed Coronavirus COVID-19 case. It is now up to WHO and Health Authorities of that country to track such people” explained Abayomi

The Health Commissioner assured that the six people in the hotel where Italian stayed had been identified and they are on self-isolation and supervised; they are called everyday over the period of their 14-day isolation.

“We have equally decontaminated the hotel which means the hotel is fine with special attention paid to the room, the lift and other areas he used to access his room”, said the commissioner.

Similarly, 35 people who were also identified to have come in contact with the man in Ogun State are presently on isolation in wards in the company facility and are being monitored by the Commissioner for Health.

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