Coronavirus: We are facing challenges in tracking passengers on index case flight – FG

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The federal government has disclosed that there have been challenges in tracking the 93 passengers that boarded the same Turkish Airline with an Italian, the country’s Coronavirus index case.

The government said out of the 148 passengers that boarded the Turkish airline with the Italian to Lagos state on Monday, February, 24 only 55 of them had been tracked so far.

Minister of Health,Osagie Ehanire, who made this known in Abuja said: “The contacts of the index case are currently under supervised self-isolation and the states have provided them with temperature monitoring tools. Of the l48 passengers on the manifest of the index case flight, 55 are actively being followed up.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: 2 out of 3 suspected cases test negative for disease

“The NCDC and Port Health Services are in touch with them to know their temperatures and possible appearance of COVlD-l 9 symptoms. “We are reaching out to others. I urge any any passenger of the Turkish Airlines Flighl to Lagos on February 24 listening to me to contact us on 080097000Ol-l0.

”Nobody is ever completely able to track all passengers because passengers are mobile. Don’t assume that all the passengers are Nigerians; there are many who have moved on to their countries, moved on to countries in Africa or they were here to do something briefly and have gone back to their country. 

“Those we can track ,we use all methods  and that is why we have specialists,epidemiologists who do the tracking, looking for them, asking neighbours and that is where the general public can also help. 

“We are directly appealing, maybe some of them has not even heard that there was a problem on board their aircraft, they may not even have heard at all if they are busy with other things.

“That is why I made a public appeal that if you arrived on Turkish airline  on the 24th in Lagos and you have not heard please isolate yourself and get in touch with the number which I gave and if anybody knows a neighbour or a friend who was on that flight, self- isolate and report.

“That is what we can do for those who are within the country. For those who have left, there is almost nothing we can do, we have tried also to continue looking at the addresses they gave.”

“In one case ,we saw that the person was not on that address that was given so we had to move to another address he was not there we moved to another address until he was finally tracked and we found out that he was okay, so we do very conscientious tracking of passengers just to be sure but if after 15 days, we do not see any case then.

“We can begin to forget about that manifest because that is the incubation period and if we don’t see any sign, it means no body got infected, they were all lucky.

“We are following up with 61 contacts of the index case. 21 contacts in Lagos State and 40 contacts in Ogun State. Between the 7th of January and yesterday, 5th of March 2020, a total of 21 suspected cases have been identified across four states in Nigeria.

“The states are Lagos, Ogun, FCT and Kano. There is still only one confirmed case of COVlD- 9 in Nigeria, which is the index case and no death.

”There were three new suspected cases between the 4th of March when I last provided an Update, and today. Two cases were negative while one resull is pending.

“Therefore, as of today, 6th of March 2020. I repeat that there is only one confirmed case of COVlD-l9 in Nigeria. Let me assure you that there is no other confirmed case in Nigeria today. If there is a new case in Nigeria, this will be announced immediately. Please, disregard all rumours of new cases in Nigeria.”

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