The Ebola Virus Disease yesterday claimed its first known Nigerian death casualty in Lagos.
Minister of Health Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed this in Abuja at a joint news conference with the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku.
The victim, a nurse, was said to be one of the health workers who attended to and had contact with the late Mr. Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian who imported the deadly virus into Nigeria last week.
Prof. Chukwu clarified that the doctor who was earlier reported to have contracted the disease was being treated along with the four others at an isolated location in Lagos and confirmed that four others have been confirmed positive while three are still under close observation.
The Health Minister said a Twenty-Four Emergency Operations Centre would be fully functional tomorrow, Thursday under the leadership of Dr. Faisal Shuaibu, who would be assisted by experts drawn from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the US Centre for Disease Control, the World Health Organisation, United Nations Children Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prof. Chukwu confirmed earlier media reports that Nigeria was in contact with the United States Centre for Disease Control, USCDC to access the experimental drugs being used to treat some Americans who were infected with the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
The Health Minister also announced the appointment of Prof. O. Onajole of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to take charge of communication and community mobilization against the Ebola Virus Disease.
He added that arrangements were being made to procure isolation tents to quicken the pace of providing isolation wards in all the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
In his remarks, Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku who thanked the media for their support in public education on the Ebora Virus Disease said more sensitization was required to contain the spread of Ebola.
Mr. Maku urged Nigerians to exercise maximum caution by taking personal and environmental hygiene seriously, adding that regular washing of hands was crucial.
He appealed to state and local governments to embark on aggressive public awareness at the grass roots to sensitise the people on the Ebola Virus Disease and the preventive measures.
The Information Minister called on the people not to panic as the government was doing everything possible to halt the spread of the deadly disease.