Airport facilities and medical structures that served Nigeria in the aftermath of the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak are being reactivated as the country tries to be on the alert for possible reoccurrence following the confirmation of several EVD cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We learnt that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria had activated its Ebola preventive programme. The programme had been put in place after the late Liberian-American lawyer, Patrick Sawyer, introduced the Ebola virus into Nigeria in July 2014, when he flew into Lagos en route Calabar for a conference. The World Health Organisation warned on Friday that the Ebola virus could spread exponentially, after about 45 cases and 25 deaths were recorded in DR Congo, with several more cases reported in the busy Congolese port city of Mbandaka. WHO said, “The risk of international spread is particularly high since the city of Mbandaka is in proximity to the Congo River, which has significant regional traffic across porous borders.” It said nine countries bordering Congo, including Congo-Brazzaville and Central African Republic, were at high risk of Ebola spread and had been supported with equipment and personnel. Nigeria shares borders with Cameroon, which has boundaries with the Central African Republic and Congo Brazzaville, both of which have common borders with DR Congo. FAAN had gone further to establish clinics at the airsides of the international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Enugu to ensure that passengers suspected of having the disease are not allowed to come into the arrival halls. FAAN said suspected passengers would be quarantined at the airsides of the airports. Though WHO said the EVD was not yet an international emergency, airport workers told THISDAY that there was a high risk of Ebola spread to Nigeria because Nigerians were among the most travelled indigenous people in the continent. Many travel for business while some move as tourists across Africa. Investigation reveals that many Nigerians live in Congo, and an estimated 10, 000 of them trade across West and Central Africa and travel back to Nigeria through mainly Kenya Airways, since the Arik Air flight experiment to the country a few years ago failed. But Nigeria does not have direct flights to Congo.

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