The Nigerian media are suddenly full of Ebola-related stories like this one in The Nation: Nigeria ‘not considering’ border closure over Ebola. Excerpt:
Nigeria is not considering closing its border with neighboring countries as a means of containing the spread of Ebola Virus Disease, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said.
Chukwu, who spoke in Abuja on Monday, however said the Federal Government through the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed airlines not to bring back dead bodies from the three Ebola highly burden countries.
He stressed that anybody that died as a result of Ebola outside the country should be buried there and not to be brought back home.
The minister also said government agencies at the borders have been directed to ensure proper checks to ensure that bodies of Ebola victims are not allowed in.
He said, “We will not close our border. We still maintain that for now, we are not doing that for a number of reasons but if it becomes necessary, we will do that. We are screening everybody coming through our border for now.”
“Regarding the issue of surveillance at the borders, again, those of you who might have found out what is going on at the points of entry at the Muritala Muhammed Airport and Nnamdi Azikwwe International Airport, our land crossing at Idiroko, and also the land crossing at Seme which are very popular land crossings for passengers coming from the ECOWAS countries.
“You will find out that the Port Health Service has actually strengthened its screening there and people are being screened through infrared. They screen without having to touch any passenger and the agencies there are working together.
“We have also advised Customs through the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that through our land borders, Customs should not allow corpses to be brought into the country. So, these are newer directives that have emanated and we have given them through the appropriate ministers.”