A protocol officer of ECOWAS who had direct contact with the Liberian Ebola ‘importer’ died of the virus in Lagos yesterday, a government source told Daily Trust last night. This was the third Ebola death in the Nigeria, the other two being Mr Patrick Sawyer and a nurse who also had direct contact with him. The Liberian man, Sawyer, who arrived in Lagos on July 20 while suferring from Ebola, died four days later. Since then, nine Nigerians who had direct contact with him have been confirmed infected, while two of them have died. Sawyer came to Nigeria to attend an event organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Calabar.
The ECOWAS Lagos office was shut last week, while some of the staff who came in direct contact with Sawyer are among the more than 170 people in quarantine. Meanwhile, the National Council on Health has come up with 14 points which it says are critical to combating the deadly Ebola virus. Arising from an emergency meeting in Abuja Monday, the council said the vulnerable groups needed to know how to protect themselves.In a communiqué, the council resolved that all state governments are to sensitise everyone on Ebola paying particular attention to vulnerable groups such as market women and other women groups, patent medicine vendors, road transport workers, fishermen in the riverine areas, hunters and bush meat sellers.
Others include school children, morticians and mortuary attendants, traditional healers and faith based groups.
It also made appeal to doctors to call off their strike action and assist efforts by government and other partners to manage the Ebola virus. It also said “all corpses should be accompanied with death certificates,” henceforth and encouraged states to have legislation to support the resolution.
The council said corpses of all persons confirmed to have died of Ebola must be buried according to standard WHO protocol.
It banned “the transportation of corpses into Nigeria as well as inter-state transportation until further notice except with approved waivers that may be issued by the Federal Ministry of Health.”
The council decided that the Emergency Operations Centres remain the responsibility of the Federal government but urged states to establish communication channels to address general and peculiar needs in each State/FCT.
“The Federal Government is to make whole body scanners available at designated Ports of Entry; assist states to establish isolation tents that would cater for at least 20 people; and all appropriate bodies to provide adequate incentives to health workers who participate in the management of EVD patients to encourage them to be active in the containment of the EVD while also providing them with life insurance coverage,” the communique said. The Federal Government should provide specifications and support States with special Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it added