The River State Government has said its efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in the state had recorded over 96 per cent coverage of its contact-tracing as at Monday evening, adding that the remaining persons who may have made contact with Dr. Ike Enemuo, who died from the virus in Port Harcourt, would have been reached by yesterday.
In his briefing on the virus yesterday, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, said: As at that time (Sunday), contact tracing was going on. We said we had seen this number and the other number, we are going to see them, and by yesterday (Monday) evening’s report, they had seen almost all of them. We have 96 per cent coverage, which is huge and which is a good success, and by now, as we are talking, they would have finished everything. So almost all of them have been contacted.”
He vowed to be transparent in his briefings and called for support of the media to manage information about the disease.
Parker disclosed that the state was worried about entry points into the state which were managed by parastatals of the federal government.
He however said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had assisted the state to overcome some of its challenges.
“If you remember when this thing started, we were a bit worried about our points of entry. You know the airports are managed by parastatals of the federal government and we had issues with them, but with the partnership of the WHO and the team here, we have some of the materials we needed.
“The thermo-scanners are available and they are training persons to take over them. They are bringing experts in to train some people on how to organise the points of entry,” he said.
He also called for concerted efforts of everybody to contain the disease, adding: “The Ebola Virus response is not just a government thing; it is not the Ministry of Health alone, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders. That is why we have what we call the stakeholders’ committee in Rivers State. The organised private sector is involved, private hospitals are involved and the government is also there.”
Meanwhile, WHO has assured the public that the Ebola Virus outbreak in the country could be contained. It however said this would be achieved with the cooperation of the people and not just through government action alone.
The WHO Country Director, Mr. Rui Vaz, stated this in Port Harcourt during a visit to the state commissioner for health.
While stating that the WHO would give the necessary technical support in the fight against the Ebola Virus disease, Vaz expressed satisfaction with the efforts and commitment of the state government to control the spread of the disease.
The WHO country director said: “I will like to highlight that Ebola Virus can be contained, and we are going to contain it. There is no doubt, but everything depends on all of us.
“It is not only the responsibility of the ministry of health. This is a cross-cutting issue, it’s an inter-sartorial response, it requires attention, and the critical matter is the leadership and ownership of the process.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government yesterday alerted members of the public to the activities of some unscrupulous people who are purportedly marketing “Ebola cassette test kit.”
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello, the fake items which are branded as “Rapid Response Canada with test results purportedly available in 10 minutes” is a hoax.
According to the statement, there are no Ebola test kits manufactured anywhere in the world and that the technique for its manufacture does not exist yet.
The statement added that members of the public should not to patronise the dubious marketers of the product.