The fears that there could have been a possible importation of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) into the country by the impounded Kenyan Airways last Sunday has been dismissed by officials of both the Federal and Lagos State ministries of health.
At a joint news briefing in Lagos, Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris who spoke on behalf of the Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, noted that the airline breached all laid down protocols and required due process; “And against the Nigerian extant regulation, the airline brought the remains of of this Nigerian without all necessary documentations that are required to process its clearance by the Department of Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health”.
He was however quick to say, “We are happy to inform Nigerians that the laboratory report (of the corpse), showed that there is no evidence of Ebola infection or any other contagious infections in tis human remains”.
The Commissioner nonetheless expressed government’s displeasure at the breach of the country’s air regulations and as such federal government has requested the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to take necessary steps “to sanction the airline in a bid to prevent future occurences”.
Idris reminded of the existence of a ban on the repatriation of human remains into the country in all ports of entry as a precautionary measure to avoid importation of any infectious diseases, a measure he said remains while any breach would attract stiff penalties.
He said the State government has in preparedness, “reactivated the isolation ward at the Mainlan Hospital and other health facilities, placed all Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in all the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs on alert, instituted refreshers training to all health workers, stepped up awareness campaigns in the State as well as developed a public health emergency contingency plan at the airport and land borders among other measures to prevent an outbreak of Ebola”.
Dr Idris appealed to residence of the State to continually observe basic environmental sanitation, including proper disposal of refuse, avoiding open defecation, regular hand washing with soap and water, maintaining personal hygiene and adequate nutrition.