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Ebola: Nigerian Govt Halts Conveyance of Deceased Nigerians From Infected Countries


Following Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, the Federal Government has issued an order stopping the conveyance of deceased Nigerians from neighbouring West African countries, especially Liberia into the country for burial.

This was disclosed by the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Prof. Abdulsalami Nasidi on Friday at a news conference held in Lagos, Nigeria to give update of the EVD.

He said this becomes imperative following the conveyance of a deceased Nigerian from Liberia into the country recently.

“The Federal Government has issued a directive that we will henceforth not receive any dead body or corpse from the West African coast, especially from Liberia and others that were on red alert for Ebola virus.

“Mechanisms are in place to checkmate that. For instance, a plane was to come into the country with a corpse but the Port health rejected it. Our problem is the land border,” he said, adding that the federal government’s decision would be communicated to the affected countries through the diplomatic channels.

On the dead body brought to Nigeria from Liberia, Nasidi said it was conveyed into the country on July 21, 2014 through Air Gambia.

“The body was received in Lagos on the 21st of July, 2014. It was transported by road to Anambra State. It was received in a private mortuary.

He said a team of experts, including those from the World Health Organisation, WHO had been despatched to Anambra State to investigate whether the deceased died of Ebola.

“All the handler of the corpse brought into the country from Liberia will be registered and tracked. And those who accompanied the corpse to Anambra and the mortuary handlers are under quarantine in Anambra State. Our team in Anambra State will tomorrow give us the statistics of those who came in contact with the corpse.

“If the corpse in Anambra State tested positive, we have been given two options by the World Health Organisation. We can either cremate or buried. For corpses that would be buried, they will be placed in the bag and disinfect the bag and the grave must be two meters deep,” he stated.

The NCDC, however, said 70 contacts had been established to have come in contact with the deceased Liberian who died in Lagos of Ebola recently, adding that the contacts were being monitored to see if they would develop Ebola-like symptom.

Nasidi said two of the contacts that were brought down with fever had been tested and found negative to Ebola infection, noting, “but that does not mean that we will stop. We will continue to place them under observation until we are certified that they are free. They were part of the 70 established contacts. First, it was 59, it increased to 69 and yesterday (Thursday), we had another. And this increased the number to 70.”

On the manifest, he said the one being awaited included the manifest on the first flight between Monrovia, Ghana and Lome, while “the crew too which is the flight from Lome and Lagos, we have gotten all the information but there are some little gaps we are trying to fill. We are having full corporation from the airline operator.”

Dr. Jide Idris, Health Commissioner in Lagos State said the government had stepped up measures to screen incoming passengers to Nigeria to identify any traveller with symptoms through airport, seaport and border crossing, saying that Nigeria must remain vigilant and strengthen surveillance in order to identify potential cases of EVD so that care be given both patients and their communities and protect the population.




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