Exactly a week after residents of Lagos were in panic mode following the announcement of the deadly Ebola virus in the state, a similar situation is happening in Anambra, where the decision of the government to seal off a hospital and quarantine its workers for Ebola is generating tension.
A resident of Onitsha who spoke to TheCable described the development as very worrisome.
“I cannot lie to you that we are very worried,” she said.
“We have been praying that this should not be true, because where are we going to start from if such a thing were to happen in this state?”
However, Dr Josephat Akabuike, the state commissioner of health allayed such fears, saying the government only acted on a tip-off to prevent the outbreak of the disease.
Addressing journalists in Awka, the state capital, Akabuike said the state ministry of health was already conducting investigations on the corpse of a man brought back from Liberia over the weekend.
“What actually called for this is that we have a report that a corpse was brought from Lagos and the deceased was said to have been taken from Liberia, where of course you know there are cases of the disease,” he said.
“The corpse was said to have been brought to Nigeria and deposited somewhere in Nkwelle-Ezunaka and the ministry was alerted; that is why we are taking all these measures.
“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 taking precautions.”
He said Willie Obiano, the governor of the state, had directed the police to cordon off the hospital until the completion of the necessary tests, while the federal ministry of health had also sent medical experts to help out in the test at the hospital premises.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) putting the death toll of victims of Ebola at 729 across three West Africa countries, the disease continues to generate global concern and attract series of stringent actions from different governments.
On Monday, Arik Air announced the suspension of its flight activities to Liberia, as Liberia also shut most of its borders in a bid to prevent the spread of the haemorrhagic fever, which has no known cure till date.