By Kazeem Ugbodaga
An American has died of Coronavirus in Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria, the Ekti State Government disclosed on Wednesday.
Ekiti Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said the driver, who contracted Coronavirus in the state was suspected to have been infected by the 27-year-old American Caucasian who died in the state.
The commissioner, in a statement said the Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19, headed by Governor Kayode Fayemi, could confirm that “we have recorded an incidence of a Nigerian male, 38 years old, of Ekiti origin, who has tested positive to Covid-19.
“The confirmed case is suspected to have been infected while driving an American Caucasian, male, 27 years old, who was visiting Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia, USA in the company of his caregiver, a Nigerian female Age 31, of Ekiti Origin.
“The American male and his Nigerian female caregiver, arrived Nigeria on 3rd March 2020 through the Muritala Mohammed International Airport Lagos. Preliminary investigations revealed that the pair were driven by our confirmed case to Ibadan, where they stayed for two weeks, and arrived Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on 13th March, 2020,” she explained.
According to the commissioner, “a day after their arrival, the American male fell ill and he was taken to a private hospital where he was referred to a tertiary hospital. Unfortunately, he died from complications of his illness.
“The hospital authorities alerted the State Taskforce and samples were taken from the American male as well as his two companions. The test for the male driver came back positive; the test for the female caregiver came back negative while the test for the American male was inconclusive.”
Yaya-Kolade said in line with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, the Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 had already quarantined the confirmed case on admission in the State Isolation Centre, while the caregiver who tested negative, was presently under observation in self isolation.
“We have commenced the process of contact tracing, working with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) following the team’s itinerary since they landed in Nigeria on the 3rd of March 2020. We have also contacted the Oyo State Government since it was recorded that they stayed in Ibadan for two weeks before arriving Ekiti State.
“The confirmed case is very stable and not showing any symptoms while NCDC will repeat the test for the caregiver who is also in self isolation. The Ekiti State Task Force on COVID-19 is following the NCDC Case Management Protocols with diligence. We want to urge Ekiti residents to stay calm and ensure they observe the prevention steps that are being publicized on all credible media.
“It is important to state that this likely index case was on a short visit and had not been in Ekiti State for up to 72 hours before his death. The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19 advises residents to continue to take self-preventive measures by washing their hands with soap and water, covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, observing social distancing and to alert the authorities of any suspected case by calling the 112 Emergency Number or 09062970434, 09062970435, 09062970436.
“The Government of Ekiti State will continue to update the public on new developments as necessary in our commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of all Ekiti residents,” she stated.