BY ABIOSE ADELAJA ADAMS
The minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Friday announced that two new persons, who happen to be the spouses of primary contacts with the index case, Patrick Sawyerr, have tested positive to the Ebola Virus Disease.
Speaking in Abuja today, the minister said that the country “has now recorded the first two (2) cases of Ebola Virus Disease in secondary contacts of the index case, the Liberian-American.” According to him, they are among the secondary contacts who have been under surveillance.
“This now brings to four (4) the total number of Ebola Virus Disease patients currently receiving treatment at the isolation ward. This also means that the total number of cases of Ebola Virus Disease so far reported in the country is fourteen (14)while the number of deaths still remains five (5), Chukwu,” said.
The minister however reassured the Nigerian public and the global community that efforts will not relent until the very last case of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country is dealt with. “We will continue to maintain vigilance, continue to strengthen our containment activities,” he said.
In the last few days, confusion had trailed the true status of the Ebola disease in the country. On Wednesday, the Lagos State Health commissioner announced five suspected cases of infection from the disease but a few hours later, the minister distanced the federal government from those figures and insisted that there were no new cases.
“As at 7 pm today, there is no other confirmed Ebola Virus Disease case in Nigeria outside the two that are currently under treatment at the isolation ward in Lagos,” the minister said in a statement signed by his media aide, Dan Nwomeh.
The statement said further: “The Honourable Minister of Health who has the sole authority to announce confirmed cases as far as disease epidemics in Nigeria are concerned” and asked that information about the Ebola virus should be directed to his office.”