nurse who had contact with the late Patrick Sawyer, the Ebola index case patient, travelled to Enugu against medical advice, a development that had made health authorities to quarantine 21 persons she had interacted with in the state.
Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who disclosed this to State House correspondents, after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, on Wednesday, also said a total of 198 persons had been traced and were being watched on account of contact, 177 of which are in Lagos.
He said those the Lagos nurse had contact with, including her husband, have been quarantined.
“All those who had primary contact with her have been quarantined. Secondary contacts have also been traced.
“So far, the number of people that have been traced is 198. Out of this number, 177 are in Lagos. It was gathered that some are in quarantine and others are being monitored by health specialists, while 21 people in Enugu are also being watched.
“This is because one of the nurses involved with the treatment of the index case unfortunately disobeyed medical instructions and somehow travelled to Enugu. All those she was in contact with, including her husband, are now quarantined. The medical team have been able to trace all those who made contact with her,” he said.
The minister spoke of more measures to contain the spread of the virus, saying “health workers are now in all our border units. All the entry points into this country and exit points. We also have port health workers working in our airports and seaports.
“We are calling on citizens specifically to cooperate. If health workers say you have had contact with A,B,C, don’t move to anywhere, respect that judgment. It’s very important. In one or two cases where we have had disobedience, we lost one of them and this one now moved with it to another place (Enugu).
“There is no cure so far anywhere in the world. Even the drug in the United States (US) is still a trial drug, it’s not been established.”
According to the minister, “one of the doctors and research experts that came forward was Dr Simon Agwale, who has been one of the frontline global researchers on developing vaccines for HIV and other viral diseases. He is helping to develop a vaccine alongside fellow experts in the US.
“The minister of health has given support and directed him to the committee. He also discussed the possibility of certain therapy they are now using, which could be applied. Once it is approved, it could be used.”
He denied media reports that one case of Ebola had been uncovered in Abuja, adding that no hospital had been forced to handle any Ebola case in the country.
FG vows to shut down infection
The special presidential meeting convened by President Jonathan in State House, Abuja, on Wednesday, rose with a resolve to shut down the virus in the country.
The meeting was attended by state governors, state commissioners of health, other government officials and representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The meeting discussed national status reports presented by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu and stressed the need for synergy and collaboration among federal and state governments, global partners and civil society.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the meeting resolved to “tackle the Ebola problem, shut it down and put an end to it.”