In response to claims of an Ebola outbreak in Calabar, Cross River State, the Federal Ministry of Health has said that Nigeria is still a World Health Organization-certified Ebola free country.
The health authorities said that there was no basis for rumors of yet another outbreak of the virus. "We are also going to organize a press conference today. You know the news and rumors of Ebola in Calabar...," said Linus Awute, the permanent secretary of the ministry.
AdvertisementAwute also said that they had decided to go ahead of the rumor.
"As usual, we decided to go ahead of the rumor, even though we can authoritatively say there's no Ebola in Nigeria but this is a scientific thing, and you don't just wake up and say that," Awute added.
According to officials at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, an unnamed man died last Wednesday, after showing Ebola-like symptoms.
They also said that already, 15 people - one doctor, nine nurses, four health workers, and one patient - had been quarantined at the hospital.
Awute said unnecessary steps would be taken to calm public fear and anxiety.
"We have to take the scientific approach to such rumor, going on locus to Calabar and all that, taking samples, observing the required public health protocols and then going to our reference laboratories." The Cross River Government had earlier dismissed the report, saying it was awaiting results of blood samples of the patient who died at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.