Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Ndam, says 43 persons have been quarantined in Wase Local Government Area of the state for investigations to forestall the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state.
The 43 persons were those who had contact with four Chinese miners, who recently returned to the state from China en-route Addis Ababa.
The Commissioner stated this during a press briefing on Sunday in Jos, saying the isolation was for a period of 14 days, to check if they would manifest symptoms of the virus.
He said that Governor Lalong was informed by the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) of three Chinese nationals, who arrived Nigeria and were heading to Jos, which led to the setting up of a team comprising of health officials and security agencies to monitor them.
“One Chinese national, arrived on Tuesday 25th while the three others arrived on Wednesday, they came from China through Addis Ababa Airport to Abuja airport, where they were screened by health officials,” he said.
He said the Chinese who arrived on Tuesday is the leader of the mining team who reside in Wase town while the other two live in Bakin Kaya, a mining site outside Wase town.
He explained that the leader had been offering social services of water supply to members of the community, where he resides but was asked to suspend the services pending investigations, saying a total of 25 persons who had contact with him had been isolated.
“The other three Chinese live in a compound with 13 Nigerians, who also have been isolated pending investigations, making a total of 18 persons isolated in Bakin Kaya,” he said.
The commissioner said the travel documents of the Chinese persons were valid, saying the state had isolation units in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and Plateau Specialist Hospitals in the case of an outbreak of the disease in the state.
He said the Ministry was working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, for the supply of commodities and other support in the case the suspects turned positive of the virus.
He urged Plateau residents to remain calm and go about their normal activities, saying there was no Coronavirus in the state.
Ndam said its health officials and World Health Organisation (WHO) officials, were enlightening members of the Wase community on preventive measures and symptoms of the disease.
He said the ministry would distribute Information Education Communication (IEC) materials, to the public and produce more jingles for enlightenment of the disease, while urging the media to support it in its enlightenment campaigns.
Nigeria confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported on Friday February 27 of an Italian, who works for a vendor that provides services to the Lafarge Cement Factory in Ewekoro in Ogun State.
The disease since its onset in China in December 2019, had killed more than 2, 000 persons in China.