By Doyin Ojosipe
The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has confirmed another case of Ebola in Lagos, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 19.
The Minister explained that the 19th case is a fiancé of a late primary contact to index case of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, adding that series of tests ran on him had earlier proved negative, which had led to his being released from quarantine.
He said that the patient however developed mild symptoms of Ebola later, but quickly recovered from the disease as another series of tests was conducted and confirmed he once suffered from the Ebola virus disease.
Meanwhile, Sister of the late Port Harcourt doctor, who died from Ebola has fully recovered from the Ebola virus disease and has been discharged from the Isolation center in Port Harcourt, bringing the total of survivors to 11, while the number of those who were given standard treatment has increased to 9.
The Minister confirmed this, yesterday, while briefing newsmen in Abuja, adding that the late Port Harcourt doctor’s spouse, who was infected with the disease and happen to be the last being treated at the Lagos isolation center is responding to treatment positively and may be discharged before the week runs out.
The Minister disclosed that the number of those under quarantine has reduced drastically to 27 in Lagos, as about 339 have completed the 21 days incubation period without showing symptoms of Ebola infection, while 477, which are mainly 3rd and 4th degree contacts of sawyer are still under surveillance in Rivers state, adding that rumour cases have proved negative.
While commending the Private sector for contributions and donations of funds to the treatment of the disease in the country, he mentioned that the Nigeria center for disease control has also commenced training of health workers on treatment and containment of Ebola virus in Nigeria.
The Minister expressed sadness over stigmatisation of Nigerians abroad, as they were being singled out for quarantine in other countries without being helped at the final stage , adding that there has been no confirmed case of a Nigerian testing positive to the disease in any other country.
Commending the WHO and other international experts for assisting in the treatment of the disease, he mentioned that the US had only contributed 30 hand held infrared thermometers contrary to plans to donate 30 body scanners to Nigeria, adding that the equipment have since been put to use for preventive measures.
The Minister also said to tackle stigmatization of Nigerians In diaspora, individual cases will be tackled by the government, while it will continue to sensitize all on reaction to patients who have fully recovered from the Ebola disease.
He urged Nigerians not to stigmatize anyone who might have suffered from Ebola disease as it is an ailment that could be recovered from.
Minister of lnformation, Labaran Maku revealed that there’s been a meeting on a certain Nigerian journalist who has been mistreated in Cuba, but also pointed out that it was unfortunate that his media could not make case for him or alert the federal government on the issue.
He further castigated the media reportage that had in the past week joined in promoting rumours about the false spread of disease while creating fear and panic in the minds of Nigerians cum helping to downplay the success achieved so far in tackling the disease.