While Nigerians are worried and panicking over the rumoured return of Ebola virus diseaseinto the country, the Federal Government has allayed the fears of the citizens, saying that effort had been heightened at the various ports of entry into the country to ensure that sick people making coming into Nigeria were properly screened.
Recently, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda have witnessed a resurgence of the virus in their countries lately, with Ugandan Ministry of Health announcing on June 11, 2019 the first cross-border cases in the current outbreak.
In a statement signed by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Boade Akinola, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Abdullaziz Abdullahi, stated that in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines, a recent risk assessment conducted by the Nigeria Ebola Preparedness team indicated that the overall risk of importation of Ebola virus to Nigeria from Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda was low.
He also described as false, an alleged message circulating in the social media purporting a positive case of Ebola Virus Disease in the country. The Permanent Secretary also called on members of the public to discourage the circulation of any unverified information, which he said, could cause harm to innocent people and unnecessary panic among the citizens.
Abdullahi said, “FG (has) assured (citizens) that since the reports of outbreak of EVD in the Democratic Republic of Congo, heightened surveillance had been on-going at the various points of entry by officials of the Port Health Services division of the ministry to prevent importation into Nigeria. To this effect, every sick passenger has been properly screened and I can say categorically that none of the patients screened has tested positive for Ebola or any deadly disease.
“In line with WHO’s guidelines, a recent preliminary risk assessment conducted by the Nigeria Ebola Preparedness team, coordinated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control indicated that the overall risk of importation of EVD to Nigeria from Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda is low, but we are not resting on our oars in view of trading activities of Nigerians.
“The Nigerian government remain fully committed while working closely with the WHO, state ministries of health, partners and all other stakeholders, to protect the health of all Nigerians.
However, necessary protocols are being followed in line with international Health Regulations.”