By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—FOLLOWING the report of recent outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday, directed the Federal Ministry of Health to step up surveillance at all entry points in the country, to prevent Ebola virus being brought into the country.
The FEC which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, also directed a full scale investigation to ascertain the allegation of payment of tuition fees per unit course at the nation’s federal universities, in order to put a stop to it.
This came as FEC approved the sum of N1.365, 364, 458.75 billion for the procurement of new equipment for control towers in six airports in the country.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said FEC, ordered that steps should be taken to ensure that the dreaded Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo should not be allowed to come to Nigeria.
According to him: “Of great concern to FEC is the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo. As you might be aware, over the last one month, DRC recorded 19 suspected cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and lost 16 of the cases.
“But, what is also particularly important was that on Monday, blood samples from five patients in a particular district in DRC, in two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed. FEC has now directed the Federal Ministry of Health to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders, so that we can actually keep Nigerians safe.
“What we will do is to set up an emergency operation centre which will be chaired by Dr. Babatunde Babasanya, who actually led our efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014. Not only that, we will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neigbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities by screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares.”