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FG activates response on Ebola outbreak nationwide


FAAN assures of preparedness

Following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal government has activated surveillance activities cross the country to detect and prevent any outbreak of the disease.To this end, letters of alert have been sent to all states to enhance surveillance activities and an advisory note for the general public.

Government also announced that Nigeria emergency phase of the Lassa fever outbreak is over.This followed an epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation,

Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole in Abuja, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, noted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is currently coordinating a national working group that is assessing and managing the risk of Ebola to Nigeria.He observed that the ministry is in close communication with partners including the World Health Organisation, who are in Congo to monitor and respond to the situation adding that government has plan B to protect the country.

Adewole noted that the Port Health services unit has been placed on red-alert and will heighten screening measures at ports of entry.Adewole stated that government had strengthened the nation’s health security infrastructur e to effectively prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases including Ebola.

Also, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday assured of its preparedness to detect and prevent the entry of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at airports nationwide, having mobilised relevant agencies to step up surveillance.FAAN, which manages all the 22 Federal Government-owned airports across the country, said the agencies, including the Port Health Services, are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and airport-users at all time.

The move was on the heels of a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).FAAN, however, re-assured passengers and other airport users of safety across its network of airports.General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, noted that since the first recorded case of the virus in Nigeria, through an American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, the authority has not relaxed its surveillance at the airports to forestall any re-occurrence.

Yakubu added that all the equipment and personnel used in combatting the virus in 2014 are still very much at the airports and now complemented and reinforced. She said: “We have always had thermal scanners in our airports that monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures. We still have hand sanitisers in our restrooms too. “When passengers walk pass the scanners, it registers their temperature. If yours is high, you are pulled aside for observation,” Yakubu said.

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