21 suspected cases of Ebola reported in Enugu as Ebola nurse flee Lagos for Enugu

Twenty-one persons are suspected to have contracted the Ebola Virus Disease and are under surveillance in Enugu State, South east Nigeria.

After a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, told reporters that one of the nurses, who had contact with the index patient, late Patrick Sawyer, had traveled to Enugu State contrary to instructions and had had contact with the 21 persons.

Giving details on the escapee, Maku revealed that she travelled to Enugu from Lagos against instruction not to leave Lagos State.

He said: “The 21 persons in Enugu under watch now is as a result of their involvement with the nurse who disobeyed medical instructions and somehow travelled to Enugu. All those who she was in contact with, including her husband, are under quarantine. The medical team has been able to trace all those who made contact with her.”
While warning that government would prosecute anybody found spreading false rumours or unverified reports over the Ebola epidemic, Maku said government was expanding presence of health officers to strategic entry points in the country.
“Health workers are now in all our border units. At all the entry points into this country and exit points, we have port health workers that are working in our airports and seaports.

“We are calling on citizens, specifically, to co-operate. If health workers say you have had contact with A, B, C, don’t move to anywhere, respect that judgment. It is very important. In one or two cases where we have had disobedience, we lost one of them and this one now moved with it to another place (Enugu).

“So we are urging Nigerians, please to help us in making sure that all these messages and appeals we are making, we implement them.”
He noted that the Ministry of Health had set up a special committee specifically to take claims from Nigerians who believe they could help and so far “we have had a lot of reports from Nigerians at home and abroad who come forward to say they have possibility of developing therapies that could help in fighting the virus.