A Former Minister of Petroleum and Energy under the military regime of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Tam David-West, has said it was not time for Nigeria to celebrate after being declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation, warning that without proper vigilance, the virus could resurface in Nigeria.
Nigeria was declared an Ebola free nation by WHO on Monday in Abuja after 42 days with no new reported cases. The Federal Government also won world wide accolade for the manner in which it curtailed the spread of the virus since July, when an American-Liberian, late Patrick Sawyer, imported the disease into the country.
But despite the good news and the commendation by WHO representative in Nigeria, RuiGama Vaz, who described the Federal Government’s effort to fight the virus as a “spectacular success story”, West, who is also a virologist, said the fight against any major virus was a continuous effort.
He said, “The fact that WHO said we are a nation free of Ebola Virus Disease does not mean that we must throw caution into the wind. We must still be careful and treat every case with caution. We should continue to be careful”.
The former minister pointed out that the FG must continue with its effort to secure the nation’s borders in order to ensure that Ebola-infected individuals did not pass through undetected, saying the country should learn from the episode of the index case in July.
He said, “We should continue to do what we are doing presently to safe-guard the nation. Ebola is a deadly virus and like I said, we must still be careful. We must continue to be careful. I will also call on our people to be careful and live a healthy life. Unlike before, Ebola is now defined and certified to be deadly. But if we take the necessary care, it can be prevented”.