The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Health to step up surveillance at all the nation’s entry points to prevent the spread of Ebola to the country following the outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari who left the country on Tuesday for London, United Kingdom where he is scheduled to meet his doctors.
Adewole said, “Of great concern to the FEC is the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo. As you might be aware, over the last one month, DRC recorded 19 suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever and lost 16 of the cases.
“What is also particularly important was that on Monday, blood samples from five patients in the DRC, particularly in a particular district in the DRC , were taken. In two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed”.
To keep Nigerians safe, the Ministry of Health has been asked to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and air borders.
And also to set up an emergency operation centre for the same reason.
Speaking on surveilance, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, had this to say
“We will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from the DRC and neigbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares”.
It can be recalled that During the last Ebola outbreak in 2014, the virus was introduced into Nigeria on when an infected Liberian man arrived by aeroplane into Lagos. The man, who died in hospital 5 days later, set off a chain of transmission that infected a total of 19 people, of whom 7 died.