Lagos Commences Identification of Contacts of Coronavirus Index Patient

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-WHO Lists Measures to Prevent Covid19 at Workplaces

As a follow-up to the confirmation of the first Coronavirus case in Lagos, Nigeria, the Lagos State Ministry of Health has started with the identification process of all the persons who had contact with the index coronavirus patient, an infected Italian national, in order to isolate them and prevent the virus from spreading.

Lagos Commences Identification of Contacts of Coronavirus Index Patient
Prof. Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health, Lagos State

As anxiety heightened at some states, especially in Lagos, where the first case was detected, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi at a press conference on Friday, said that the identification exercise started at 3am on Friday and continues.

With number of countries affected by the global viral infection, which originated from Wuhan, China, approaching fifty, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted best methods to prevent the virus from spreading at workplaces.

List of countries affected so far by the epidemic include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Combodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Irag, Isreal,, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Labanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, The Philippines, Romania, Russia, Nigeria, among others

Abayomi at the conference stated: “We have aggressively started to identify all his contacts all the way to the airline and that process started around 3 am this morning and it continues. We will like to assure everybody that we are on this case to make sure that we can identify everyone he has come in contact with.

“We are identifying any possible person that may have come in contact with him so that we can start isolation and containment exercise to ensure we break the cycle of transmission”.

The commissioner further explained that the Italian national has no symptoms of respiratory disease but he does have a fever and body aches. “If he has respiratory symptoms, it is likely to be more contagious than it is at the moment,” he said.

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How Covid-19 Spreads

Explaining means of transmitting the virus, the WHO through a statement noted that when someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales, they release droplets of infected fluid, and most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects -such as desks, tables or telephones.

And this reveals how people could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects –and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19, they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu.

“Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some go on to experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness”.

Simple Tips to Prevent Coronavirus

As recommended by the apex health institution, here are the measures to prevent the spread of the virus at workplace:

  • Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic.
  • Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly.
  • Why? Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads.
  • Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers
  • Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled.
  • Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing.
  • Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water.
  • Why? Because washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread of COVID-19Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace.
  • Display posters promoting respiratory Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefing at meetings and information on the intranet etc.
  • Ensure that face masks and / or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them.
  • Why? Because good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19.
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