Director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, has been placed on self-isolation for 14 days as a standard precautionary measure.
Ihekweazu self-isolation is coming following his return to the country after visiting China.
The witness understands Ihekweazu has already spent seven days.
Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed the recent developments when he appeared at the senate on Tuesday.
Ehanire, while briefing the upper legislative chamber on the measures and actions his ministry was taking to forestall spread of coronavirus in the country, said that Ihekweazu went into self-isolation because he just returned from China.
He said “WHO sent a special delegation to go into China and speak to scientists, look at the cases, try and understand these disease more, the behavior of the virus. It has been found that majority of the people killed are people who have other sicknesses before: tuberculosis, cancer, HIV.
“Relatively young people are involved and all elderly people. Among those scientists chosen is the Director General of the NCDC. We are very proud and honoured that he was the only African who was among the experts. They went there for about nine days.
“We have already established rules here that anybody who has been to China will go into self-quarantine. Chikwe has gone and come back. He has done the test, he is negative but we have insisted he must undergo the 14 days quarantine which is why he is not here. He is not allowed to come out until after 14 days. Because if you make the rule, you must obey it which is to set the example in Nigeria.”
A worker at NCDC who spoke in confidence said that Ihekwehazu was in isolation at his residence but didn’t to divulge the location.
On Friday, Nigeria recorded its first case of the virus, which has infected over 80,000 people and killed more than 3000.
An Italian who flew into the country from Milan, which has the highest case in Europe, tested positive for the disease.
The patient is currently receiving treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
The federal government has said all those who had contact with the patient have been traced and isolated.
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