Lagos allays fears on Ebola, reassures hoteliers


The Lagos State Government has allayed fears about the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) resurfacing, stressing that the state was safe for business and tourism.

Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Disun Holloway, made this assertion while meeting with representatives of some large hotels in the state who were in his office to rub minds on how to develop the hospitality business in Lagos.

According to him, the state has developed the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDA) in Yaba to a modern facility for research and development of other contagious diseases apart from Ebola, as a measure of being prepared for any eventually in future.

The state, he added, has also put machinery in place to continuously research on how the virus can be prevented while also finding a cure for it.

He explained that the decision to bring about major hoteliers in the state was borne out of the desire to share experiences with a view to fashion out solutions to low patronage being experienced by them due to the outbreak of the virus in the country.

Giving assurance that the disease has been fully contained in the state, Dr. Aderemi Desalu, Permanent Secretary Special Duties representing the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said there is no case of Ebola presently in Lagos, adding that all suspected victims have been treated and discharged

He revealed that since September 18, 2014 when the last victim was discharged, there has been no report of any new case and called for proper hygiene and awareness, while also correcting the negative perception in some quarters about the deadly disease

While addressing the meeting, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, expressed satisfaction on the containment of Ebola by government revealing further that the Babatunde Fashola led administration is leaving no stone unturned to combat all such diseases. He added that containing Ebola in an urban place like Lagos lend credence to the fact that the present administration is always prepared for emergencies,

Acknowledging the prompt response by the state government, General Manager, Southern Sun Hotel, Mr. Mark Lokley, noted that global awareness has led to more education about the disease, adding however that the occupancy in hotels had dropped and more needed to be done to bring clients back.

On his own part, Mr. David Kliegh of the Federal Palace Hotel spoke on the need to get an official endorsement from the government, making specific clarification about the containment of the disease in the state.

He also called for an event jointly organised by the state government and hoteliers showcasing that the disease has been fully contained in Lagos.

Other hotels represented at the meeting include Lagos Oriental Hotel and the Wheatbaker among others