Nigeria relocates Italian coronavirus patient for better health care

2020-03-01 12:58
Medical workers wearing protective gear transfer a suspected coronavirus patient to another hospital.

Medical workers wearing protective gear transfer a suspected coronavirus patient to another hospital. (Yonhap, AFP)

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Lagos – Nigerian health authorities said on Saturday an Italian national who tested positive for the coronavirus in Lagos, the first case in Nigeria, has been relocated for better care, a health official said.

The Italian, quarantined at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba on Friday, had complained of poor facilities, Lagos health commissioner Akin Abayomi told journalists.

READ | Nigeria confirms coronavirus case, first in sub-Saharan Africa

He was moved to a renovated facility with air-conditioning and the patient was now comfortable.

"As of this morning, his condition has improved, he hasn't developed any new symptoms, but he's still got a mild fever," he added.

Several people from the company where he worked had been contacted and officials were trying to trace other people with whom he might have had contact, Abayomi added.

Highly vulnerable

Meanwhile, Nigeria consumer officials warned against arbitrary hikes in prices of protective kits and products.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) said suppliers of protective apparel and hygiene products, including face masks, latex gloves and hand sanitisers were taking undue advantage of the rush.

It urged pharmacies and department stores to stop hoarding the products.

READ | Nigeria braces as coronavirus arrives in megacity Lagos

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with some 190 million people, is viewed as highly vulnerable to viral spread given its weak health system and high population density.

Prior to the case in Nigeria, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, there had been just two cases on the continent – in Egypt and Algeria.

The outbreak, which began in December, has already killed more than 2 800 people and infected more than 78 000 worldwide.

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