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Ebola Outbreak: Fashola Wants FG To Close Border With West Africa Neigbours

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has charged the Federal Government to close some of its borders with her West Africa neighbours to checkmate the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, into the nation.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola

Fashola, who addressed newsmen in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday said the outbreak of Ebola and its threats should not be taken lightly in view of the high mortality rate it comes with.

“Few West African countries have been at the epicentre of the virus. I believe some of the countries were Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. There is a risk to the entire sub-region. 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 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. What happens going forward depends on how professionally they act. It is prevention rather than calling the health professionals to quarantine people,” he said.

According to Fashola, “that is really the strongest defence now against migration of the virus. We will continue to put out information about what the health risks are and the symptoms. I have instructed the ministry to enlighten the public on what to do in order not to contact the virus.”

The governor said people must begin to imbibe stronger sanitation and preventive measures, especially hand-washing periodically with soap and water, saying this had been part of government’s health strategy since 2011.

According to him, “this is also the best time to stop public urination, because it has health risk. We have been appealing against it and this is the best time to stop such act. This is the time that everyone must be at the vanguard of stopping that untidy behavior.”

Fashola stated that cremation was certainly the best method to adopt in burying people who died of Ebola as dead bodies emitted fluid that could come into contact with human beings.

“Dead bodies emit fluid. This showed that the cremation policy of the state is the best solution to deal with the issue. This is a health security and people must embrace contemporary hygiene standards. All the residents who had contacts with the dead Liberian have been tested and the result proved negative.

“But there is still risk because we had a dead body was brought into the country from Liberia. This means there is still need for vigilance at our border post. The officials at these places should act professionally and report every incident they suspect,” he added.

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