Two fresh Ebola cases confirmed in Lagos

Patrick Sawyer
  • 139 Nigerians now under surveillance
Tragic Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer
Tragic Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer

The Federal Government on Friday said two new cases of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease have been confirmed in Lagos.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chuwku, who was in Lagos at a press briefing to keep the public updated on developments concerning the rampaging disease, said a total of 139 people are under surveillance at present.

Among the 139 persons are 48 passengers who were on the Asky flight with the late Patrick Sawyer and others who came into contact with him from the airport to the hospital in the Obalande area of Lagos where he later died. The minister said all the passengers have been contacted and now under surveillance.

While describing the outbreak of Ebola in the West Africa sub-region as a “global emergency,” Chukwu called for the unity of the world in order to fight the virus as it now poses a vicious threat to the African continent and the world at large.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conte’h, has spoken about the harassment and discrimination of Liberians living in Nigeria regarding the Ebola virus.

According to Conte’h, since the first case of Ebola brought into the country by Liberian Sawyer, Liberians in Nigeria have been the subject of intimidation, harassment and stereotyping.

“I would like to appeal for the indulgence of Nigerian authorities. The attention of our embassy has been brought to several cases of harassment of Liberians, especially in Lagos and other places. This harassment bothers on stereotyping, and sometimes expressions of collective guilt,” Conte’h said on Thursday, during a media briefing organised by Nigeria’s minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu.

“I think as we combat this disease; I think we should put in our campaign against Ebola that association is not causation. It is not because the index case came from Liberia, so all Liberians have Ebola. We join you in this fight; Liberia is playing its part. But I like to appeal to you because there are law-abiding Liberians in Nigeria who have been harassed. The some derogatory remarks against Liberians are being made on radio and they have been brought to our attention,” he added.

The envoy said the Liberian president, Helen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed sadness over the introduction of Ebola by a Liberian to Nigeria, disclosing that the deceased and cremated Liberian was under surveillance in his native country over the virus but managed to find his way to Nigeria.