The Federal Government, through its embassy in China, has called on Nigerians living in the People’s Republic of China to be more vigilant in the face of the current outbreak of Coronavirus in the country.
A statement by the embassy specifically urged all Nigerians in Wuhan to keep indoors and restrict their movements.
They were also advised to take all necessary precautions and “strictly adhere to all medical precautions and instructions issued by Wuhan”.
The statement also urged all representatives of all Nigerian associations, such as Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO-China) and the Association of Nigerian Students in China (ANSIC) as well as Nigeria-China Bilateral Education Agreement Scholars Association (BEASA-CHINA) to encourage their members to remain calm and abide by all public health announcements and instructions issued from time to time by various Chinese authorities to prevent themselves from the current scourge.
“They should also avoid crowded and closed areas as well as close contact with people who might likely be carriers of the dreaded virus. They should always wash their hands and face regularly and maintain personal hygiene and wear surgical masks, especially when stepping out from their respective accommodations” the embassy advised.
“As the Lunar New Year holiday ls extended, schools closed and movement restricted, Nigerians are advised to equally restrict their movements and ensure cleanliness and to use face masks whenever the need arises to guard against the spread of the disease,” the statement further said.
The Embassy also expressed confidence in the extensive measures adopted by the Chinese authorities to curb the spread of the virus, praying that the scourge will soon be brought under control.
What to know about Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning; they are normally transmitted between animals and people. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
Some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household or health care setting.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. The first case of a novel (new) coronavirus (2019nCoV) strain was confirmed in China on January 7 this year, and preliminary investigations revealed that most of the patients either visited or worked in the Huanan Seafood wholesale market in Wuhan city.
NCDC said the new coronavirus 2019nCoV appears to cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like cough, cough and breathing difficulties.
From current evidence, it appears that death is a rare outcome, mostly in patients with underlying illness. The centre advised the public to adhere to the following measures to protect themselves from coronavirus or reduce the risk of the spread of the disease:
*Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing.
*You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
*Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
*Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms
*Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history.
The centre, however, added that there is no specific treatment for disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. “However, many of the symptoms can be treated.
Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective,” it said.
WHO said the basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections include the following:
*Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
*Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
*Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
*People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
*Within healthcare facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.
Its recent situation report on the virus said WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers.
“In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, the travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider,” the organisation advised.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has been notified of the virus by the World Health organization and that the Port Health services of the Federal Ministry of Heath has been placed on red alert for increased screening at entry points.
The centre, in a statement, said it was currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria.
NCDC is in close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) who is closely monitoring the situation globally.
WHO is in direct communication with the Government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.
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