Ebola: Fashola urges FG to shut borders with neighbouring countries
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has urged the Federal Government to shut the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries without delay to avert the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
The governor’s concern is coming on the heels of the controversy generated bythe case of a recent corpse from Liberia, said to have been routed through Lagos to Anambra State.
Fashola, while speaking with Journalists yesterday, at Ikeja House, noted that, “This is no longer a local, but an international problem. This is because it is easily transmittable across the borders and boundaries. The Federal Government team has been working with the state team. I think what the Federal Government needed to do at this time is to consider the imperative of closing some of our borders.
“It is difficult to stop this epidemic. We must now choose the treaty obligations that we hold under the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty and perhaps short term benefits in terms of economic cost to human life.
“We must make that choice and consider it very seriously. It is a national security issue. I think we should give it that attention. I think men and women who man our border posts-sea, air and land, especially the customs, now know that they are our first line of defence.”
Fashola said there is no pretence about the issue of such importance, saying few West African countries who are at the epicenter of the virus pose danger to others.
He said:“I believe some of the countries were Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. There is a risk to the entire sub-region. I like to appreciate all the health workers at the state level for the very professional manner they have responded while I was out of the country.”
Giving update on the Ebola issue, Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi of the National Center For Disease Control (NCDC) who briefed the press with Lagos State Government officials, allayed fears on possible outbreak from the corpse brought in from Liberia .
He said, “All the handlers of the corpse brought into the country from Liberia will be registered and tracked. And those who accompanied the corpse to Anambra and the mortuary handlers are under quarantine in Anambra State.
“Our team in Anambra State will tomorrow (today) give us the statistics of those who came in contact with the corpse.”
On the collaboration with other countries, Nasidi explained that the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Aviation and the Federal Government will soon issue directives on matters of bringing corpse into the country.