by Kolapo Olapoju
On Monday, 28 July, the Lagos State Government announced that 59 people residents of the state came in contact with Patrick Sawyer, the 40-year-old Liberian who died of Ebola virus in Lagos on Friday, 25 July.
Dr. Jide Idris, the Commissioner for Health, made this known in Ikeja, explaining that out of the 59 people are 44 health care workers and 15 other people at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Idris explained said the government has not been able to ascertain the number of passengers on the Asky Airline plane the Liberian flew in with into Nigeria because the management was yet to release the flight manifest.
He said, “So far, 59 contacts have been registered, consisting 44 hospital contacts (38 health care workers and six laboratory staff) and 15 airport contacts. The 15 airport contacts comprise three ECOWAS staff-driver, Liaison, and Protocol Officer, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five airport passenger handlers. As of the time of this report, 20 contacts had been physically screened of which 50 per cent had type one contact and 50 per cent had had type two contact.”
“Airline manifest has not been provided by the airline and therefore the precise number of passenger contacts has yet to be ascertained, especially as two flights were involved (Monrovia-Lome and Lome-Lagos). There was no report of medical incident and the General Declaration report of the flight.”
The commissioner advised Nigerians not to panic confirming that nobody in the country had been infected with the virus, and that state and the federal governments were working to ensure that the virus did not infect anybody in the country.
“We can categorically state that as of today, we have only one case of imported Ebola and death. No Nigerian is infected, but all contacts are being actively followed.
“We call on all Nigerians to be calm and not panic. We assure them that both the state and the Federal Government are up in arms to ensure that the virus did not escape and that no Nigeria is infected with this virus.” he added.