Minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has disclosed that the Nigerian nurse who contracted the Ebola virus while attending to late Liberian Patrick Sawyer has died in Lagos yesterday.
The nurse who was a staff at a hospital in Obalende, Lagos is among the now confirmed 7 cases of Ebola in Nigeria and making the second death recorded from the virus.
Professor Chukwu who made the disclosure at an emergency press briefing in Abuja Wednesday, also confirmed the seven new cases of the virus. Like the late nurse, the new patients also had contact with Sawyer.
He also disclosed that the doctor who treated Sawyer is still alive.
“Yesterday, 5th August, 2014, the first known Nigerian to die of the EVD was recorded and this was one of the nurses that attended to the Liberian. The other five cases are currently being treated at the isolation ward in Lagos,” the minister said.
He added that “The 24/7 emergency operations centre will be fully functional tomorrow. It will be headed by Dr Faisal Shuaibu as the incident manager. He will later today lead a six-man inter-agency team drawn from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Lagos to complete the setting up of the centre. They will be joined by the other personnel from Lagos state government and the federal hospitals in the Lagos area as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“We are making arrangements to procure isolation tents to quicken the pace of providing isolation wards in all states of the federation and the federal capital territory. “We are also setting up a special team to provide counseling and psychosocial support to patients, identified contacts and their families,” he said. The minister reassured Nigerians that the government “is working hard to ensure the containment of the outbreak”.