Ebola: Nigeria vs DR Congo friendly least of our problems, says NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says there is no cause for alarm over the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo ahead of the upcoming friendly between Nigeria and the country.

The match is scheduled to hold on May 28, and more than 40 cases — including 25 deaths — in the outbreak are under investigation.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday, Chikwe Ihekweazu, chief executive officer of NCDC, said the DR Congo players will be screened before they come into the country.

He said the centre is making other necessary efforts to ensure the virus is not imported into the country through DRC.

“The Nigeria, DRC match is a very unique situation, because we know the DRC football team are coming. They will be screened for Ebola even before they leave the DRC,” he said.

“They are a very confined group. We have the list of players and officials coming in. We are already educating them. So, the international friendly game is the least of NCDC’s problem.

“There is very little risk associated with this game. Most of the players of DRC like their Super Eagles’ counterpart play in Europe. So, actually, they have had very little contact with the DRC.

“The key thing is that we are doing everything we need to do to ensure we prevent the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease in Nigeria. Our focus mainly is on planning, preparation, education, and screening rather than travel restrictions.”

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had earlier said the friendly match was not threatened as a result of the outbreak in the country.