President Goodluck Jonathan has declared the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria, a National Emergency, a spokesman for the President, Reuben Abati, said on Friday.
In a statement by the spokesman, President Jonathan directed the Federal Ministry of Health to work in collaboration with the State Ministries of Health, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to ensure that all possible steps were taken to effectively contain the threat of the Ebola Virus in line with international protocols and best practices.
President Jonathan also approved a Special Intervention Plan and the immediate release of 1.9 billion Naira for its implementation, to further strengthen on-going steps to contain the virus.
The fund would be used for the establishment of additional isolation centres, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders and the procurement of required items and facilities.
The President commended the vigilance of aviation and health authorities in Lagos who identified and isolated the index case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian who flew into the country.
He also applauded the good work of health authorities at both State and Federal levels who had traced persons who had contact with him, isolated other identified cases and embarked on massive public enlightenment.
President Jonathan called for even greater vigilance and co-operation at all levels to stop the Ebola Virus from spreading further.
The effective implementation of the Federal Government’s Special Intervention Plan will require other stakeholders to take certain precautionary steps that are supportive of the government’s initiative.