2 August 2014

Nigeria: Ebola - Fashola Urges FG to Shut Borders

As Ebola epidemic cases continue to send fears down the spine of Nigerians,Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has urged the Federal Government to shut its borders with neighbouring countries without delay, to avert an epidemic of the disease in Nigeia.

The governor's concern is coming on the heels of the controversy generated by the case of a recent corpse from Liberia said to have been routed through Lagos to Anambra State, in South Eastern part of thecountry. Fashola while speaking with newsmen on Friday at the State House, Ikeja noted that. "This is no longer a local, but an international problem.

This is because it is easily transmittable across the borders and boundaries.

The Federal Government team has been working with the state team. I think what the Federal Government needed to do at this time is to consider the imperative of closing some of our borders. "It is difficult to stop this epidemic. We must now choose the treaty obligations that we hold under the Economic Co munity Of West African States (ECOWAS)treaty and perhaps short term benefits in terms of economic cost to human life.

"We must make that choice and consider it very seriously. It is a national security issue. I think we should give it that attention.

I think men and women who man our border posts-sea, air and land-especially the customs, now know that they are our first line of defence."Fashola said there is no pretence about the issue of such importance, saying few West African countries who are at the epicenter of the virus poses danger to others. He said, "I believe some of the countries were Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

There is a risk to the entire sub-region. I like to appreciate all the health workers at the state level for the very professional manner they have responded while I was out of the country."

Giving update on the Ebola issue, Director Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, briefed the press with Lagos State Government officials allayed fears on possible outbreak from the corpse brought in from Liberia to Anambra State. He said, "All the handlers of the corpse brought into the country from Liberia are being registered and tracked.

He said ateam of the Ebola Committee have been sent to the community to pursue the tracking of those identified to have accompanied the corpse to Anambra. According to him, "Those who accompanied the corpse to Anambra and the mortuary handlers are under quarantine in Anambra State.

"Our team in Anambra State will tomorrow (today) give us the statistics of those who came in contact with the corpse." On the collaboration with other countries,Nasidi explained that the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aviation and the Federal Government will soon issue directives on matters of bringing corpse into the country.

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