Coronavirus: Nigerian Govt Faces Difficulties Tracing Italian Co-passengers

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is facing obstacles in tracing  some of the people, who had contacts  with the first coronavirus  index case.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika,  who  gave the hint on Monday, vowed to deal with any foreign airline that violated coronavirus screening procedures for passengers arriving in the country.

He was reported to have given   the warning  in Abuja at the inter-ministerial meeting on coronavirus.

A source at the meeting was reported to have stated that the minister said airlines that failed to distribute contact tracing forms to their passengers upon arrival at any of the international airports in the country would be sanctioned.

While briefing journalists in Abuja, the  Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire,said some passengers, who were on the same Turkish Airlines flight with the first index case, an Italian businessman, gave telephone numbers that were not working.

Investigations had shown that ministries and departments within the Federal Capital Territory on Monday  ignored safety tips by failing  to deploy hand sanitisers to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Federal Government had on Friday deployed  more medical personnel to international airports across the country as part of efforts to step up screening of passengers.

This came as the country recorded the first coronavirus case  on Thursday when an Italian businessman, who was on a visit to Lafarge African Plc, Ewekoro, was diagnosed with the disease in Lagos.

Presently,  the Italian is  in the isolation centre   at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. Also no fewer than 100 persons, who had contacts with him, have been identified by the Lagos and Ogun state governments.

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