Following the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in some West African countries, the Federal Government yesterday restated the ban on the importation of bush meat from some West Coast countries like Guinea and others. Also, to curtail the spread of the virus to Kano State, the state government has said it will ban the sale of bush meat in the state. The Controller, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Dr. Okey Okwuosa, made this disclosure yesterday at the EVD response and management stakeholders’ coordination meeting in Lagos, on finding practical solutions to curtail the outbreak of the virus.

The stakeholders’ meeting, which was coordinated at the instance of the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Sani Sidi, drew participants from the Nigerian Navy, Army, Air Force and Police medical corps. Also in attendance were the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Airport Quarantine Services, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Federal Airport Authority, Federal and State Ministry of Health, among several others. In his presentation, Okwuosa said, “Although it had been banned before, but we had to renew that ban prohibiting the importation of bush meats, which are delicacies in some countries, now because the virus is spreading quickly through bush meat, especially the fruit bats.

“The circular has been passed round but our borders are major sources of concern in the spread of this viral disease. At the moment, the infrared thermometer can detect such virus but it is still very few in Nigeria.
“Nigerians need to abstain from eating bush meats because you don’t know which one is infected. Cooking it thoroughly is simply not enough to kill the virus. Simply abstain,” he admonished. He further pleaded with Nigerians to desist from eating fruits, which shows signs of being eaten by birds or bats, adding that simply cutting off the affected part is not the solution.

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