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The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has dismissed reports on social media that there were considerable numbers of Chinese nationals infected with Coronavirus in Gowon Estate in the state.
The state government said preliminary investigations showed otherwise.
This was coming as the state government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), had begun a surveillance tour of livestock and bush meat markets across the state to test animals for components of monkey pox.
Reacting to the social media report that the Chinese nationals in Osoba Close, Gowon Estate recently came back from Wuhan and were treating themselves from symptoms of the virus in the estate, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, Sunday said there was no Osoba close or street in Gowon Estate as speculated in the viral social media broadcast.
He explained that the state has used all available intelligence from key community members to investigate the claim.
“A team was deployed to the estate along with key community members, including ward focals, councillors, motor bike riders, market women, bar tenders, using implementation and Google maps to thoroughly search all streets in the estate.
“We will continue our investigation with full cooperation from the DPO of Gowon Estate Police Station through the intervention of the Office of the Chairman of Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area, who has promised to reinforce our surveillance team,” he said.
The commissioner called on Lagosians to desist from circulating news of Coronavirus outbreak, adding that such cases should be reported to the ministry through dedicated phone numbers; 08023169485 and 08033685529.
“Circulating suspected disease outbreaks to the public can cause panic and anxiety among the citizens which may result in greater harm. We also call on Lagos residents not to engage in false news of disease outbreaks as this is considered a serious offence with biosecurity implications. Any person found to be engaging in this kind of misinformation will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” Abayomi added.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, has described the monkey pox as a trans-boundary viral disease that is common among people who have contact with wild animals and develop symptoms such as fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.
He disclosed this when he received in audience members of the One Health Team of the National Centre for Disease Control, noting that the exercise was aimed at preventing the outbreak of monkey pox disease in Lagos.
“Small pox is also a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkey pox virus and it occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa. It is mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, although human to human transmission also occurs usually by contact with an infected person’s body fluid, lesions, respiratory droplets as well as contaminated materials such as beddings,” he said.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state government to ensuring the safety of lives of Lagosians, hence it would do everything necessary to prevent the emergence of the disease in the state.
He pointed out that officials of the Ministry of Agriculture alongside representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, NCDC and AFENET have been deployed to the field to conduct a surveillance of the monkey pox virus in livestock markets across the state.
Lawal added that relevant organ and tissue samples would be collected from these animals under strict biosafety standard protocols, appropriately stored at the required temperature and transported to the laboratory for diagnostic testing.
While noting that the animal component surveillance teams would test the animals for the presence of the monkey pox virus, Lawal added that tests would also be conducted for other zoonotic viruses like the Lassa virus in small mammals with strict epidemiology guidance.
He appreciated members of the One Health team of the NCDC, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and AFENET for their unwavering efforts geared towards putting a stop to the outbreak of the disease in the State.
He urged the people not to panic but, however, called for precautionary measures such as maintaining a high level of hygiene and reporting of any suspected monkey pox cases to the appropriate authorities.
No Coronavirus in Gowon Estate, Lagos Government Denies Report of Outbreak.