Lagos bids farewell to Nigeria’s first coronavirus patient [Photo]

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On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led Lagos State government bade farewell to Nigeria’s index coronavirus (COVID-19) case, the 44-year-old Italian.

The Italian arrived Nigeria on February 25, 2020 from Milan on a Turkish airline flight, and tested positive for the virus on February 27, 2020.

He was declared free of the virus on Thursday, March 19, with Lagos government officials informing Pulse that he was going to be tested for a second time for certainty and released to leave the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.

“As the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Lagos, I am glad to inform you that the index case; the Italian gentleman, is now negative,” Sanwo-Olu informed the media at a briefing on Friday evening.

“Through a combined effort of Lagos, Ogun State and Federal Health Authorities, we were able to limit the transmission of the virus to a single contact.

“This involved aggressive contact tracing and containment strategies. However we now have several new imported cases and we hope we can apply the same contact tracing strategy along with social distancing to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from these new cases.”

The governor also disclosed that the index case donated his blood sample to help in future curative research for the virus.

“The index patient consented to donating one unit of white blood (plasma) before he was discharged today. The blood plasma is rich in antibody proteins that target COVID19 virus.

“The white blood plasma is frozen in our Bio-bank and will be useful in handling new cases.

“The blood plasma will be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for COVID19 yet.

“The patient appreciated the exceptional care and support given to him by staff of the infectious Disease Hospital,Yaba and all members of the EOC.

“The EOC team was extremely happy to bid the patient farewell.

“Once again, we would like to convey the enthusiasm of the team to do the very best possible in handling incidents of COVID19,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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