The Lagos State Government on Friday assured residents of the state that the dreaded Virus called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronal Virus has not been found anywhere in the country.
The position was amplified by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris during a Press Conference he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre Alausa alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba.
Dr Idris said the basic essence of the initial announcement by the State Government on the disease was for it to sensitise residents of the state especially those who intend embarking on holy pilgrimage to Mecca for either lesser Hajj or the main hajj to be aware of what is happening in that part of the world.
He said it is a virus that belongs to the category that is called coronal virus with many species of it and belongs to the category that causes common cold and cough in people which occasionally makes people sufer lung infections when they sneeze.
He explained that a lot of the cases were found in about eight countries but majorly from Saudi Arabia Peninsular including, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, adding that 90 people have so far been infected with 45 of them dead.
The Commissioner said interestingly 70 out of the 90 cases were found in Saudi Arabia and therefore urged Nigerians who would be going on Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to take necessary precautionary measures.
He added that though the World Health Organisation is not restricting movement to the affected countries, as it is still studying the virus with a view unravel its nature and how best to deal with it, it became necessary for the State to feel concerned because of the large number of people who usually attend the pilgrimage from the State, especially since the virus spreads speedily.
The Commissioner urged all Nigerians who would be proceeding on pilgrimage to the area to adopt proper personal hygiene by wishing their hands properly and avoiding sneezing and coughing.
He said the Saudi Arabian authorities have also tried to put some measures in place to avoid its spread by advising vulnerable people such as the elderly, pregnant women, children and people with chronic lung infections as well as stroke not to embark on the pilgrimage.
He also urged all those who would be going on the pilgrimage to also get vaccinated against viruses like Meningitis because it is a virus that thrives where many people mingle, saying that explains why the Saudi authorities are insistent on would be pilgrims taking the vaccine.
Dr Idris said what the Lagos State is doing is to sensitize the people to the existence of the virus, especially for people who are going to perform Umrah or Hajj this year to guard against being infected.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba who was also at the briefing assured residents of Lagos that there is no cause for apprehension about the virus as it has not been reported anywhere in Nigeria.