The coronavirus has raised concerns worldwide, “As of 9am on 8 March 2020, 23,513 people have been tested in the UK, of which 23,240 were confirmed negative and 273 were confirmed as positive. Two patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.” according to www.gov.uk. 2 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria, the first case was a patient who travelled from Milan Italy to Lagos Nigerian. The second patient was identified as someone who had been in contact with the first patient, both cases are clinically stable. Sources: BBC, The Guardian and Nasdaq.
What is Nigeria doing?
- Screening at international airports
- Public health education on how to prevent catching and spreading the virus
- Strict isolation of those who have been in contact with virus
- Contact tracing
- Reporting cases
- Hospitals are following the WHO protocol and constantly communicating with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, it is difficult for us to provide you with specific advice. For those going to Nigeria (or elsewhere) for a medical placement, there are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What happens if there is an outbreak in Nigeria (or other host country)?
- What happens if the UK places restrictions on flights to or from Nigeria (or other host country)?
- What happens if you become unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while at home or in Nigeria (or other host country)?
It is important to be in regular contact with your medical school before travelling to Nigeria (or other host country) so you are fully aware of any advice updates or changes in regulations. We recommend you have adequate health insurance, travel insurance (which may cover cancelled flights or have an allowance for flexibility) and a detailed plan for repatriation if it were necessary.
Although there is always more that can be done in these situations, let us remember the successful eradication of Ebola by Nigeria a few years ago.
For more information about the outbreak, travel and how to stay safe, visit:
Public Health England website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public, https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Travel Health Pro website: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/news/499/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-general-advice-for-travellers
The NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/