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Africa

Nigeria declares state of emergency over Ebola

© Jewel Samad, AFP / Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-09

Nigeria's president on Friday declared a national state of emergency over the deadly Ebola virus which has killed around 1,000 people, mostly in West Africa.

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the relevant agencies must ensure that all possible steps are taken “to effectively contain the threat of the Ebola virus in line with international protocols and best practices.”

Nigeria's health ministry says two patients in Africa's most populous nation have died of the disease, and there are seven other confirmed cases.

Jonathan also approved the release of 1.9 billion naira (8.7 million euros) to contain the disease through an intervention plan.

He also asked schools to consider extending the current school holiday until there is a national reassessment of the level of threat Ebola poses in Nigeria and called on the population to avoid large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should ... discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk," said the presidency.

Among measures to be undertaken include the setting up of additional isolation centres, screening at borders and contact tracing.

In addition, the president warned against any movement of corpses of infected persons.

"Every death should be reported to the relevant authorities, and special precautions should be taken in handling corpses," said the presidency in the statement.

Nigeria on Wednesday confirmed five new cases of Ebola in Lagos and a second death from the virus, bringing the total number of infections in sub-Saharan Africa's largest city to seven.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-08-08

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