It has been revealed that the late Patrick Sawyer who was Nigeria’s index case for the Ebola virus was actually under surveillance by the Liberian health authorities, even though he still managed to board a flight heading outside his country.
The Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed said this while relaying a conversation between Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Chigozie Oby-Nadozie.
According to Mohammed, President Sirleaf Johnson in a telephone conversation with Nadozie had expressed regrets at the circumstances through which the virus had been brought to Nigeria by Sawyer who was under surveillance.
There have been reports that Sawyer’s sister had died of the virus.
Mohammed at a briefing for members of the diplomatic corps in Abuja Thursday on the ebola virus however noted that there was no time for placing blame, but for collaboration to combat and stop the spread of the deadly virus which has now killed over 900 according to figures from the World Health Organisation.
ECOWAS Vice President, Dr Toga Mcintosh confirmed that Sawyer escaped from quarantine in Liberia to fly to Nigeria.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the briefing, Mcintosh said “”because he had contact with somebody who died from Ebola, he was quarantined in his own country but he evaded the quarantine and came to Nigeria.”