Ebola: Nigeria To Screen Outbound Passengers At Borders

Channels Television  
Updated August 7, 2014

ebola-medical-officialsNigeria has announced plans to begin screening of outbound passengers at its borders, as a way of curbing the spread of the Ebola Virus disease which has taken hundreds of lives in West Africa.

The Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced the plans to diplomats at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

The Minister told the gathering that the government had not taken a decision to close its borders as a result of the outbreak of the disease.

“The government has intensified screening of inbound passengers on land, sea and airports,” Professor Chukwu said.

The fear of the Ebola Virus and the high mortality rate associated with it has created widespread panic locally and internationally, prompting the interactive meeting by the Nigerian government with diplomats on measures taken to contain the disease.

Intense training and public awareness on the virus is under-way, according to the Minister of Health.

At present, 70 primary contacts with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian that died on July 25 after he was diagnosed of the Virus, are under surveillance.

A nurse that was among medical officials that treated the Liberian died on Wednesday of the Ebola Virus while five other persons have tested positive to the Virus.

Despite the panic, the Health Minister says the country would not close its borders in order to speedily identify victims of the virus.

A governor of the opposition All Progressives Congress and the Governor of Lagos State, where the Ebola cases have been reported, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had earlier asked the government to close the country’s borders as a way of checking the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the Economic Community of  West African States’  secretariat has announced a temporary shut down of its Lagos office where some of its personnel who had contact with the late Patrick Sawyerr work.