Fear grips Nigeria immigration, port health officials over China killer disease

The Nigeria Immigration Service and Port Health Services have expressed fears over the outbreak of Coronavirus in China.

The deadly disease, which broke out in  the Asian nation  sometime last month, has spread to eight countries including United States and Singapore, with over 800 people  infected and 30 killed in the past few weeks.

Immigration and Port Health Services officials, said hundreds of  the Chinese  who left Nigeria  for China to celebrate their annual festival – Lunar New Year – would  start returning to Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country from next week.

As such, they expressed fears  of  the possibility the  Asians  contracting the disease and bringing it into the country.

The immigration, port health and other airport officials, who spoke with Saturday Punch in separate interviews at Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports, were also worried that Nigerians who frequent the Nigeria-China routes  for business might import the killer virus into the country if care was not taken.

Some officials of Port Health Services, a unit under the Ministry of Health, said the risk of importing the virus into Nigeria could not be completely ruled out since there was  a window period of 10 days during which infected persons might not manifest any of the known symptoms of Coronavirus.

According to them, the thermal scanners installed at the airports are expected to alert them whenever any passenger with body heat  exceeding 37 degrees passes under it.

The known symptoms of Coronavirus are fever,  sneezing, difficulty in breathing and high temperature.

Although inbound passengers are physically monitored for any of these signs, Port Health Services officials said the virus incubation period might not make a carrier to manifest any of these signs, hence the possibility of missing out on  some passengers.



– Punch

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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