The Anambra State Ministry of Health has announced that there are fears in the state that the dreaded Ebola disease may have penetrated the state through a corpse deposited in Apex Mortuary, Nkwelle Ezunaka, Oyi LGA at the weekend.
The state Commissioner Health, Joe Akabuike, while addressing journalists on Thursday said that the development in Anambra is an urgent one, and that the state government, the Ministry of Health in the state and the Federal Ministry of Health were handling the situation with the urgency it requires.
“Why we called you(Journalists) here is because of the dreaded Ebola disease. In the suspected case that happened in Lagos recently, the victim is already gone, and all those who had contact with him have been tested, and they tested negative.
“Here in Anambra, the urgency I told you is that we have the case of a corpse that was brought in from Lagos at the weekend. The deceased was said to have taken ill in Liberia where the virus is known to have already existed, where he died and was deposited in a mortuary.
“We have identified the mortuary where the corpse was deposited, and we have alerted the Federal Ministry to come in and carry out a test. we have sealed off the mortuary, and everyone who is working there, we have ordered that they be quarantined.
“As I speak with you, experts from the Federal Ministry of Health are on their way to Anambra. What we will do is that those people that are quarantined will be screened, and we want to assure Anambra people that we shall be proactive to ensure that the virus does not spread.
“We have also procured the necessary garment for the disease check, and we are training our health workers on how to deal with this because it is new here. We had to invite the Federal Ministry of Health because the equipment for the check are very expensive.
“We are not saying that this corpse has Ebola virus, but the deceased was brought in from Liberia, and deposited in the state, so we have to raise eyebrow about it. All we are doing is to take precaution,” the health Commissioner said.
Akabuike disclosed that the disease wass a big threat because doctors, nurses and relatives of a patient who may touch the victim were liable to contact it, and that when doctors begin to die in droves, it spells doom for a country.
He advised that people must form the habit of washing their hands not only when they want to eat, but after shaking hands or touching surfaces.
Akabuike expressed shock that a corpse could be flown from another country to Nigeria, without being intercepted at the airport for a check. He also disclosed that the state has secured a quarantine site that will help the ministry to seclude suspects from the people until they are checked.