President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday dedicated the Ebola-free status of the country confirmed by the World Health Organisation to all health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who made the feat possible.
The dedication was contained in a statement in which the President welcomed the declaration by the WHO that the country is now officially Ebola-free after 42 days without any incidence of the Ebola Virus Disease.
According to the statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President lauded all Nigerians, especially those who paid the supreme price to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
He said the success recorded was a testimony of what Nigerians could achieve if they bury their differences and remain united.
The statement read, “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan welcomes today’s declaration by the World Health Organisation that Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free after 42 days without any incidence of the Ebola Virus Disease.
“President Jonathan dedicates the certification to the many patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who worked tirelessly, some of them paying the ultimate price, to stop the deadly virus in its track after it entered the country in July this year.
“The President seizes this opportunity to also reiterate his appreciation of the contributions of state governments, WHO and other international health organisations, relatives of infected persons and other Nigerians who either courageously underwent the rigours of being quarantined or complied with all directives issued by health authorities to defeat the virus.
“He believes that Nigeria’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola is a testimony to what Nigerians can achieve if they set aside their differences and work together, and calls on Nigerians to strive to replicate the unity of purpose and all-hands-on-deck approach adopted against Ebola in other areas of national life.”
The achievement notwithstanding, Jonathan warned that citizens must remain alert and vigilant to avoid fresh outbreak.
To this end, he directed that all measures taken after the entry of the virus into the country should remain in place.
“As the nation applauds the success of its collective effort to stop the transmission of the Ebola Virus within Nigeria however, the President warns that the entire country must remain fully alert and vigilant against the re-entry of the virus.
“President Jonathan fully shares the view expressed by WHO in its congratulatory message to Nigeria that while we have won a battle against Ebola, the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola.
“The President consequently directs that all the anti-Ebola measures taken after the entry of the virus into the country should remain in place and that health officials should continue to actively screen persons entering the country through its air, land and sea borders for any sign of the virus.
“He also urges all Nigerians to continue to follow the anti-Ebola advisories on sanitation and personal hygiene issued by Federal and State Health authorities,” the statement added.
Some of the measures introduced after the entry of the virus included a ban on inter-state movements of corpses and repatriation of corpses from abroad without prior permit from the Ministry of Health.
Nigerians were also advised to avoid indiscriminate handshake and large gathering as much as possible.
Source - The Punch