The Ekiti State Government has confirmed a positive case of coronavirus in the state, following the death of an American male whose cause of death is still under investigation.

One person who served as the driver of the American male, has tested positive to the virus, according to the Ekiti State Government, while the deceased’s caregiver, a female, tested negative to the virus.

The three of them had arrived the country through Lagos and made a stopover in Ibadan, Oyo State, before arriving Ekiti State.

Following the development, the Oyo State Government has started the tracking of all the contacts with the three persons to further contain the spread of the disease.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, had on Wednesday morning, announced a positive case of coronavirus in a patient in Ekiti State.

The state has now given details on how the virus got into the state through the driver to the late American, whose identity is yet to be made public.

“The Ekiti State Taskforce on COVID-19, headed by His Excellency Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, can confirm that we have recorded an incidence of a Nigerian male, 38 years old, of Ekiti origin, who has tested positive to COVID-19,” a statement signed by the Commissioner for Health, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said.

The statement, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, said the confirmed case was 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, 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,” the statement further said.

“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.

“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.”

According to the statement, 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, is presently under observation in self isolation in line with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols,

“We have commenced the process of contact tracing, working with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organizsation (WHO) following the team’s itinerary since they landed in Nigeria on the 3rd of March 2020,” the government said.

“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 publicised 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.”

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government said it has taken up the matter and had reached out to the contacts made by the trio in Ibadan.

Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo State Governor, Taiwo Adisa, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the Ekiti State Government had made contact with its Oyo State counterpart on the development and that efforts had been made to track the journey’s made by the late American and the other two persons with a view to arresting the spread of the virus.

“We have made contacts with the places they stayed and I can assure you, a proper briefing will be made tomorrow(Thursday) morning by the Commissioner for Health,” Mr Adisa said.

The Ekiti case brought to eight the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria.

One of the victims has since recovered.

The disease has caused over 7,000 deaths and infected over 200,000 people globally.

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