The Federal Government has said that no fewer than 139 people have been placed under surveillance following their alleged contact with the Liberian victim of the deadly Ebola virus.
Addressing a press briefing on Friday in Lagos, the Minister of Health, Prof. Chukwu Onyebuchi, said two new cases of Ebola infection had been recorded in Lagos which now brings to nine the number of cases recorded in Nigeria so far.
The minister said aside the two fresh cases, there were also six suspected cases which had not been confirmed.
He said, “The total number of cases, as of this morning, (Friday) stands at nine out of which eight are Nigerians and one American-Liberian.
“Out of the nine confirmed cases, seven are alive and are receiving treatment In Lagos,” he said. He also noted that the fatality rate so far in Nigeria was between 30 to 26 per cent, adding that the rate in all other ECOWAS countries stood at 65 per cent.
“I am saying this to enlighten people that having Ebola does not mean you have been condemned to death, survivors have been recorded.”
Also speaking at the press briefing, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, condemned in totality false reports circulating that taking a salted hot water bath could protect one and serve as an antidote to the virus.
The health minister also described the report as “a wicked lie,” adding that “I believe Nigeria has laws in this regard. Such perpetrators must be fished out and prosecuted through the appropriate channels.”
The two ministers maintained that the best and most effective way to handle the situation was to maintain a regular hand washing culture, use hand sanitisers and reduce handshaking situations with other people.