The Bayelsa State Government has inaugurated a 12-member rapid response team comprising top medical professionals to prevent the spread of the suspected monkeypox, a viral epidemic that has infected 13 persons in the state.
Besides the 12 members, which make up the core team, other sub-teams to carry out contact tracing of patients has also been set up.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebimitula Etebu, who inaugurated the committee reassured the citizens that there was no need to panic.
The commissioner said that currently, the state had 13 suspected cases at different stages of recovery following treatment at the makeshift isoloation ward at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri.
He also said that over 50 persons were being actively followed at differently located places in the state.
He stressed that the situation was not beyond control but restated the need for people to observe the simple hygiene of washing hands.
He also handed over some boxes of hand sanitizers to the team entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the disease.
Etebu stated, ”At present, as we speak, we have 13 suspected cases at different stages of recovery following treatment at the makeshift isolation ward at NDUTH, Okolobiri.
There are also over 50 persons being actively followed at differently located places in the state.
”And this is in order to quickly detect any new cases following exposure to suspected cases. The state Ministry of Health, with the support of the international community led by the World Health Organisation, international partners, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control have since embarked on enlightenment campaigns.
”Active disease surveillance has also been carried, case management and other sundry measures have also been carried out in a bid to halt the spread of the disease in the state.
”New suspected cases are being reported everyday in the state. The situation can get out of hand if critical measures are not quickly put in place and that is why we have thought it expedient to inform the public.
” And the essence is to allay the general public of the fact that there is no need to panic; it does not call for any fear. The ministry and the government of the state are on top of the situation.
”We have carried out all necessary measures that is why we have been able to contain so far and today we are just symbolically giving the opportunity to the press to ensure that we do not want speculation.”