The Nigerian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said it resisted pressure from local authorities for the immediate burial of a Nigerian woman who died of suspected Ebola virus in the United Arab Emirate.
A top official of the embassy told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the Emirati health authorities also pressured the woman’s husband to authorise immediate burial.
According to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the mission did not grant the approval sought by the local authorities because the result of Ebola test on the patient is pending.
NAN recalls that the 35-year old Nigerian woman, said to be a cancer patient, died in Abu Dhabi on August 15 while travelling to India from Lagos via Abu Dhabi.
Her health deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport and as medical personnel were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.
The woman’s husband, who was travelling with her and the five medical officials who tried to resuscitate her, are still in isolation pending the result of Ebola test on the patient.
All are in good health and show no symptoms of the illness, according to local health officials.
The Nigerian official said the local health authorities had demanded the burial in accordance with World Health Organization’s recommendation in cases of death by suspected viral infections.
“But our response was that the results are not out and we cannot grant such approval,’’ the official said.
On Wednesday, the WHO reported 2,240 cases of Ebola virus with 1,229 deaths from across the world.
It said that most of the victims came from West Africa, including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.