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Liberian With Ebola in Lagos Dies

Liberian With Ebola in Lagos Dies

A Liberian national, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, assumed to have imported the highly contagious Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to Nigeria finally died on Thursday night in a Lagos private hospital.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris announced his passage at a press conference he addressed with the governor’s Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina.

The death of the Liberian yesterday compelled the Federal Government to embark on frantic efforts to calm the nerves of Nigerians
While addressing the conference, the commissioner said it had already obtained the manifest of the passengers the victim travelled with from the airline.

According to Idris, the body has been disposed properly, doing it with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Idris said: The State Government is dealing with the hospital. We are also dealing with those he got contact with. We have the manifest for questioning to ensure we screen them. We are doing that already.”

Idris also said the state government had initiated discussion with the authorities in charge of the borders.

The commissioner said: “Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stepped in to volunteer. The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has stepped in. We have set up contact screening centre. We have federal ministry of health assisting us with laboratory.

“All stake holders are involved. We are confident that the step will stop further propagation of the disease. We plead that you do not spread scary message so as not to spread panic.”

He assured that the state government had put structures in place “to ensure that it does not spread beyond what it is presently.”

The commissioner said: “If you know anybody who has traveled to Liberia where the viral is established, report to us on time. We have set up treatment centre for probable symptoms.

“Port people are working on the manifest. Some of the travelers are still in Calabar. We are going to get their list and get their contact numbers for possible symptoms.”

The victim, who arrived Lagos at about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, died less than 12 hours after the Lagos State Government publicly alerted its residents of the suspected case of the dreaded virus.

Already, the Ebola virus has, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, claimed about 660 lives in three West African countries namely; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof.  Onyebuchi Chukwu assured Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm, given that necessary step to control the virus had been taken by the government across board to prevent further spread of the disease.

Also, the minister explained that “all the passengers that the patient came in contact with have been traced and are being investigated.”

Chukwu however announced that President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a special information committee for Ebola. The committee which is chaired by Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku is to create necessary awareness among the general public about the disease and what is required by the people to prevent it.

He further assured Nigerians to be vigilant and observe basic hygiene principles. “I want to reassure the general public that the Federal Ministry of Health is presently working with other ministries, agencies and international organisations as well as the Lagos State Government to prevent the possible spread of the virus.”

He said the “various steps taken according to him include; quarantining all the passengers that travelled along with the patient; place all entry ports in the country on red alert with Ministry of Health specialise positioned in all entry points.”

Chukwu announced that all government tertiary health institutions in Nigeria have been equipped to handle any emergency that may arise from the disease, while supportive drugs have been made available.

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