The minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, would be contained in Rivers State as it was done in Lagos State.
The minister said this on Monday in Port Harcourt during a tour of the quarantine centre at Oduoha in Emuoha local government area of the state and the National Centre for Disease Control Laboratory at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH.
He said total of 339 contacts under surveillance over the dreaded Ebola virus have since been discharged after the mandatory 21 days of observation; adding that Lagos is the only state that has 27 contacts still under surveillance.
He, however, debunked rumours of cases of Ebola in some parts of the country just as he appealed to members of the public to desist from stigmatizing Ebola victims.
On the facilities on ground to manage cases of Ebola, especially in Rivers State where the disease was recently discovered, Onyebuchi, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Health, Khaliru Alhassan, described the facilities as world class and also commended the state government, the Ebola Emergency Operation Team, the World Health Organization, WHO, Doctors Without Borders, the Untied States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USCDC and volunteers for doing everything possible to ensure that the disease does not get out of hand.
The minister, who inaugurated the Port Harcourt Local Government Ebola Response Team and also addressed mortuary workers at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, said his ministry had begun the distribution of ambulances, utility vehicles and motorcycles to the Port Health Services at the international airports, seaports and land crossings.
He further said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has also started the training of state personnel in the management of EVD, adding that Nigeria will soon take delivery of protective equipments to also help in the fight against the disease.
The minister, however, reiterated the commitment of the country to continue to keep its boarders open based on the protocols approved by WHO, but stated that the government will remain vigilant and also tighten screening at the nation’s ports of entry and exit.