An Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on Wednesday has tested positive for the dread coronavirus. 

The Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this according to the Nigerian Health Minister, Dr E. Osagie Ehanire. 

The Italian (whose name has been withheld) is said to be “clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.”

Several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, all apparently linked to the growing outbreak in Italy.

Austria, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in North Africa, reports the BBC.

Police wearing masks at a hotel in Innsbruck, Austria
Cases have emerged for the first time in countries such as Austria following the Italian outbreak

The first positive virus test has been recorded in Latin America – a Brazilian resident just returned from Italy.

Italy has in recent days become Europe’s worst-affected country.

Authorities have confirmed more than 300 cases and 12 deaths there, the most recent a 70-year-old resident of Lombardy who died after being taken to intensive care in Parma. The country has also seen four children infected.

Recording its first case, Nigeria’s Health Minister said the return of the Italian worker return to Africa’s populous country from his hometown on February 25. 

“The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly,” Dr Ehanire said.

He added, “The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.”

Below is a statement from the Nigerian Health Ministry.