The dreaded Coronavirus pandemic has spread to Ekiti State in South-West Nigeria, according to an official statement by the State Government.
Ekiti becomes the second state in the country after Lagos where the virus is confirmed.
The statement Signed by the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. (Mrs) Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, disclosed that an American who recently visited Ekiti has died of coronavirus while the driver that drove him has tested positive.
The statement reads: “This morning, the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, announced a positive case of Coronavirus in a patient in Ekiti State.
“The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19, headed by His Excellency Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, can confirm that we have recorded an incidence of a Nigerian male, 38 years old, of Ekiti origin, who has tested positive to COVID-19.
“The confirmed case is suspected to have been infected while driving an American Caucasian, male, 27 years old, who was visiting Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia, USA in the company of his caregiver, a Nigerian female Age 31, of Ekiti origin.
“The American male and his Nigerian female caregiver, arrived Nigeria on 3rd March 2020 through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the pair were driven by our confirmed case to Ibadan, where they stayed for two weeks, and arrived Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on 13th March, 2020.
“A day after their arrival, the American male fell ill and he was taken to a private hospital where he was referred to a tertiary hospital. Unfortunately, he died from complications of his illness.
“The hospital authorities alerted the State Taskforce and samples were taken from the American male as well as his two companions. The test for the male driver came back positive; the test for the female caregiver came back negative while the test for the American male was inconclusive.
“In line with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, the Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 has already quarantined the confirmed case on admission in the State Isolation Centre, while the caregiver who tested negative, is presently under observation in self-isolation.
“We have commenced the process of contact tracing, working with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) following the team’s itinerary since they landed in Nigeria on the 3rd of March 2020.
“We have also contacted the Oyo State Government since it was recorded that they stayed in Ibadan for two weeks before arriving Ekiti State.
“The confirmed case is very stable and not showing any symptoms while NCDC will repeat the test for the caregiver who is also in self-isolation.
“The Ekiti State Task Force on COVID-19 is following the NCDC Case Management Protocols with diligence. We want to urge Ekiti residents to stay calm and ensure they observe the prevention steps that are being publicised on all credible media.
“It is important to state that this likely index case was on a short visit and had not been in Ekiti State for up to 72 hours before his death.
“The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 advises residents to continue to take self-preventive measures by washing their hands with soap and water, covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, observing social distancing and to alert the authorities of any suspected case by calling the 112 Emergency Number or 09062970434, 09062970435, 09062970436.
“The Government of Ekiti State will continue to update the public on new developments as necessary in our commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of all Ekiti residents.”