Coronavirus: Rivers urges residents not to panic

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Rivers State ministry of health says it has placed the state on high alert over a reported case of the dreaded Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The ministry said it is working in conjunction with the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health like the National Centre for Disease Control and other stakeholders to ensure maximum surveillance at all national entry points into the state.

Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Mrs Chinwe Tonye Atata said at a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Friday that multiple layers of screening of in-flight assessment of passengers for early detection of suspected cases as well as secondary screening have already been established at Port Harcourt International Airports and other entry points for foreigners into the state.

She said that in line with established protocol, all International travelers from already affected countries are to be placed on self isolation within the medically known incubation period of the virus.

She added that such persons will be closely monitored at the point of their destination within that period.

According to her, there is no known case of Coronavirus in the state as of now.

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She said that the state has mapped out isolation treatment centres in case of any eventuality, adding that the state has also set up Rapid Response Team and multi-sectional technical working group, specifically dedicated for regular review and evaluation the situation.

She maintained that the State has in stock sufficient preventive and protective equipment and supportive therapeutic drugs in case of any eventuality.

“We believe in early prevention and protection and to this end, we join the global Community to advise People to regular washing of hands with soap and water, especially when hands are soiled and sweating and contact with people

“There should also use alcohol-based sanitizers, while the is a strict Maintainance of 1.5 metres distance from someone constantly coughing or sneezing. Those who are coughing and sneezing should keep away from the crowd.

“Any person with high fever and persistent coughing should notify relevant authorities”.

She warned citizens not to spread misinformation in the social media on the disease, because such abuse could lead to danger and panic, assuring that the Rapid Response Team will provide a routine update and necessary measures have been put in place to ensure public safety.