Nigeria latest to declare emergency over Ebola

FELIX ONUAH
Last updated 06:44 09/08/2014

Relevant offers

Africa

Gin suspected of causing mystery deaths New Zealand mother grieves son's Islamic State death Reports up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya Islamic State shoots and beheads 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya South Africa Says violence under control as death count rises At least 19 dead after minibus plunges into river in Tanzania South African president condemns anti-immigrant violence South Africa grapples with outbreak of anti-immigrant violence Bomb in Egypt kills two 400 migrants die in shipwreck off Libya, survivors say

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan declared a national state of emergency on Friday (local time) over the Ebola outbreak in Africa's most populous country, and approved 1.9 billion naira (US$11.7 million) of emergency funds to contain it.

Nigeria has confirmed seven cases of Ebola in its commercial capital Lagos since a man fell sick on arrival from Liberia, two of whom have died. Several dozen people who came into contact with the man are under surveillance.

Jonathan's spokesman Reuben Abati said the money would pay to "strengthen steps to contain the virus such as ... additional isolation centres, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders, and the procurement of required items and facilities".

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday (local time) that West Africa's Ebola epidemic constituted an international health emergency and the virus, which has killed nearly 1000 people, could continue spreading for months.

The prospect of Ebola in Lagos, Africa's biggest city with 21 million people, has ratcheted up alarm about its spread.

Jonathan warned against "spreading false information about Ebola which can lead to mass hysteria, panic and misdirection, including unverified suggestions about the prevention, treatment, cure and spread of the virus."

He also urged religious leaders to avoid holding large gatherings that might spread the virus, a reference to the many "megachurches" that can draw tens of thousands of faithful from around the West Africa region to their services.

He asked schools to extend their summer holidays and "urged that the movement of corpses from one community to the other, and from overseas into the country should be stopped forthwith".

All deaths from sickness should be reported to the authorities, he added. The state of emergency is expected to stay in place until the outbreak is contained.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content