Ebola: FG bans importation of animals

22 days after the deadly Ebola Virus Disease was deliberately imported into Nigeria by a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer leading to two deaths, ten confirmed infection cases and 179 people under surveillance; Nigeria yesterday took a bold step to check further spread of the deadly disease as it announced the ban on importation of all forms of live animals through the nation’s seaports and land borders.

Director General, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine service (NAQS), Dr Kola Faseyitan who disclosed this exclusively to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said his agency has has also placed all its officers on red alert on the movement of pets and animals through the borders and gateways.

“We barred the movement of animals especially wild animals and my men are placed on red alert but the fact still remained that Nigerians should stop eating bush meat and some other animals that are prone to the virus,” he stated.

He said while bats and monkies are known carriers of the virus, the Quarantine Service is not leaving anything to chance to prevent further spread of the killer virus.

The Ivory Coast announced yesterday that it has banned all flights from countries hit by Ebola as part of steps to prevent the deadly virus from reaching the west African nation.

The government said in a statement that it has forbidden all “carriers from transporting passengers” from these countries.

It has also decided “on the suspension until further notice” flights by its national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire, to and from these locations.

The government did not name the countries but nearly 1,000 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, Sierre Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, which are all in West Africa.

The government said it has also decided to increase preventive measures at Abidjan airport where “all passengers on arrival will have to have their temperatures taken with an infrared thermometer.”

Ebola causes flu-like symptoms including fever. In the worst cases, it causes unstoppable bleeding.

It spreads among humans via bodily fluids including sweat, so can be spread by simply touching an infected person. With no vaccine, patients believed to have caught the virus have to be isolated to stop further contagion.

No case of Ebola has surfaced in the Ivory Coast which began implementing measures to prevent the spread of the disease in March.

British Airways said August 5 that it has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone following concerns about the spread of Ebola.

Dubai’s Emirates Airline said earlier this month it was suspending flights to Guinea.

Pan-African airline Aruj and ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone following the death of a Liberian passenger at the end of July in Lagos.

President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that the late Patrick Sawyer behaved like a “mad man”.

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