The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider closing some of the nation’s borders to ensure that the deadly Ebola Virus does not spread across the border to the country.
Addressing reporters in Lagos on Friday, Governor Fashola urged members of the Customs and Immigration Services at the nation’s borders to demonstrate professionalism in order to checkmate the spread of the deadly disease.
“Quite aside from localising the spread, the men and women at our border posts, especially the Customs and the Immigration Services must now know that they are our first line of defence.
“What happens going forward depends on how professionally they act. It is prevention rather than just calling health workers to come and quarantine people that are really the strongest defence now against the migration of the virus,” he emphasised.
Fashola commended the State’s Ministry of Health and all the Health workers for their prompt response and professional conduct to ensure the prevention of the spread of the disease when a victim of the Ebola Virus who flew in from Liberia, Patrick Sawyer, died in a hospital in the State. He pointed out that the spread of the disease would be more easily contained if it is localised than to increase the epidemic. He also emphasised that the disease was no longer a local problem.
“It is an international problem because it is being transmitted across the borders.
“From what I gather, unless the spread of the disease is localised it becomes increasingly more difficult to stop its epidemic. We must make that choice now and consider it very seriously. It is a national security issue and I think we should give it the required attention,” he said.
He therefore urged Lagosians to be vigilant and appealed to all lagosians to desist from public defecation.
“We have also been appealing against public defecation. This is the time to really stop it now that we know the serious health risks”, Fashola said.
The governor, told reporters that the Ministry of Health had finished the decontamination of the hospital where the body of the Ebola victim was kept and the hospital would get the global certification that is necessary at the appropriate time for it to reopen.
according to him, some of the people who had contact with the victim have been tested, with the result showing they do not have the virus.
“But we are not resting. We heard news of the body of another victim brought to another part of the country from Liberia. So there is still need to be vigilant especially monitoring our border post security by Customs and Immigration and to act professionally to report every incident that they suspect,” he said.
Present at the press interaction were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji and his counterpart on Media, Mr Hakeem Bello.