By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
Another set of 21 Nigerians suspected to have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus have been quarantined in Enugu, Enugu State, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has confirmed.
Maku, who briefed State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, on Wednesday, blamed the development on a nurse who defiled medical directives and traveled from Lagos to Enugu.
Consequently, all the 21 people were quarantined since they have been identified to have secondary contact with the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who imported the deadly virus into Lagos, Nigeria.
The Minister noted that Federal Government had begun sensitization of Nigerians long before the index case was recorded.
He, therefore, advised Nigerians and warned those who have contacts with the victim to obey government’s directives to limit their movements so as to reduce the spread of the disease.
According to Maku, the measures put in place by government to curb the spread of the virus have passed the test of the international organisations operating in the country, including the American International Agencies for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF and other relevant bodies.
Maku said: “The international organizations have no need to panic as government is making strong efforts to bring the situation under control.
“The measures we have put in place show professionalism and confidence to ensure that this virus does not spread beyond where it is today.
“Even the World Health Organization has expressed satisfaction with the measures that we have put in place so far, so there should be no need for any anxiety over the existence of the virus in Nigeria.
“There is a strong team in place that has been working and tracing the secondary cases.
“So far, a total of 198 persons have been isolated, with 177 in Lagos alone and 21 persons in Enugu State, that have been quarantined.
“Part of measures being put in place is collaboration with transport owners and operators to prevent the transmission of the virus through the nation’s land borders while protective materials are being provided.”