Nigeria to send a team of medical experts to China over coronavirus
London, Feb. 6, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A team of medical experts from Nigeria are to be sponsored to China to understudy the cause of the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus disease in the Asian nation.
House of Reps speaker Femi Gbajabimilla who made this known at the National Assembly during an interactive meeting with the officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria and Coronavirus diseases in China, said the team would be sponsored by the Reps
Mr. Gbajabiamila who expressed concern about the outbreak of the two diseases in the two countries noted that the disease is taking a huge toll on human and material resources in both countries.
He tasked the NCDC to attach more seriousness to the two diseases as there is serious panic among Nigerians saying Nigerians are worried about the disease.
“Some things are alarming to me. You seem to make light the severity of coronavirus to the extent of saying it’s not as bad as Ebola.
I’m not a doctor, but what I do know is that if there’s panic out there, something needs to be done.
Though Lassa is very serious, I don’t think it should take the seriousness of coronavirus.” Gbajabiamila added.
The lawmaker also informed the officials the concerns raised by a lawmaker who had raised a motion on the need to contain the spread of the diseases adding that the health authorities should take the necessary steps to contain them.
He said, “A motion came to the House for us to evacuate Nigerians in China. The question is what are we doing to contain the spread of this disease?”
The House has called on the health authorities to ensure that all hands are on deck to ensure that the spread of the outbreak is contained and we will sponsor a delegation of health experts to understudy the ailment.”
NCDC Director-General Dr. Chikwe Igekweazu on his own part said that the spread of the two diseases is indeed an outbreak.
He said that there is currently 364 cases of Lassa Fever in the country and it is the largest number so far reported, but that the agency has reduced the rate of mortality of the disease from 45% to 14% as a result of the series of actions taken.
Dr. Igekweazu informed the House that the agency has increased the awareness of doctors to detect and test the ailment as well as equipping the laboratories and treatment centers for the disease.
He said “So far, there are two centers, one at the Abuja University Teaching Hospital and the other at the Mainland Hospital, Lagos, created to address the issues of Lassa fever. We need such centers in all the 36 States of Nigeria.
Our response so far is that we prepared for this period. Every case of Lassa fever requires about half a million naira to treat.
We’re working with our partners to develop a vaccine. So, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve already tested the vaccine, and maybe later this year, it may come to use.”
Dr. Igekweazu who explained that the Lassa Fever is a case of animal to human transmission, called on all citizens of the country to ensure more safer and cleaner environment as it cost half a million Naira to treat an infected person.
“The disease is a deadly virus and there is currently no vaccine to treat the ailment. What needed to be done is to conduct research on the disease.” He added
On Coronavirus, Dr. Igekweazu said that it is the first time the disease is transmitting from animal to human being.
He said that health authorities working at the nation’s point of entry and strengthening surveillance for the purposes of detecting carriers of the disease and assured that they are working to equip the health facilities to ensure its containment.