The Federal Government declared on Wednesday, that in spite of the huge success it recorded in curtailing the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in the country, it has not yet completely eliminated the virus according to a Vanguard report.
Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed this on Wednesday when he spoke with state House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting where he briefed the president and members of the Council on the containment of EVD.
The minister spoke on a day President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the stigmatisation of Nigerians by some countries over recent cases of the Ebola Virus in the country.
According to the minister: “I don’t want Nigerians to panic, but I don’t want us to be carried away with euphoria because if we still one case of Ebola Virus Disease, it is an emergency.
“The World Health Organization, WHO, defines Ebola epidemic as when one person is infected with the disease. We have to be cautious as long as there is still a victim in the country,” he said.
According to the Minister: “While Nigeria has successfully contained Ebola Virus Disease, it has not eliminated the disease because there is still a case we are managing and as long as there is one case in the world, every country is still at risk.
“It is still possible that Nigeria may record between one to three new cases because there are people under surveillance. There is a case we are still managing and even that case we are still managing must also have had her own third degree contacts, many of whom are part of this number of people that are under surveillance.
“There is still a chance one of the people under surveillance may fall sick and test positive. So until we give a clean bill of health to every contact, we cannot even say we have eliminated the disease,” he emphasised.
On government’s decision to close primary and secondary schools in the country till October, Professor Chukwu said it was a precautionary measure to safeguard the lives of children.
He also emphasised that there is no need for the country’s borders to be closed just yet, adding that government may consider closing the borders only if it is absolutely necessary to do so.
“There is no panic to close borders, but if it becomes necessary, we may close borders. Our borders are still open, but what we are doing is screening of people coming into the country,” he said.
On the N1.9 billion released by the Federal Government to fight Ebola Virus Disease, Professor Chukwu said the money was for the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies to contain the spread of Ebola and not to be shared to states of the federation.