September 9, 2014 – At least two secondary contacts of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who died of Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos have either been evicted from their place of resident or dismissed by their employer.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris made the revelation at a press conference he addressed in company of Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adesina and Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Dr. Lateef Raji.
He neither mentioned the employers nor individuals affected by the sack but said both cases are in the process of being referred to the Ministry of Justice for appropriate legal action but that matter will be dropped if the employer and or landlord withdraws the notice issued to the individuals involved.
Idris called on Nigerians who have been stigmatized on the bases of Ebola to approach the Ministry of Justice which he said is ready to prosecute the case.
He said that as at now only one patient is in the isolation centre in Mainland Hospital, Yaba, adding that the patient was brought to Lagos from Port Harcourt when Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State was preparing isolation centre for Ebola patients.
He added that all those who had primary contact with Patrick Saywer have been traced adding that while some died of the ailment, some were treated and discharged.
He explained that the contact team contemplated using officials of the Department of State Security Service(SSS) to trace the primary contact working ECOWAS secretariat in Lagos when he moved to Port Harcourt but that the idea was dropped when ECOWAS reassured government that they were in touch with him.
He emphasized that Ebola is not death sentence adding that malaria and cholera kill more people in Nigeria than those than those ofEbola adding that what needs to be emphasized is for Nigerians to imbibe the habit of good hygiene.
On resumption of schools in September 22, the commissioner said that the state government will soon come out with a position on the subject adding however that anybody down with Ebola will not be in school.