The federal government yesterday announced that schools across the country should now re-open on September 22 after re-assessing the Ebola threat and its earlier directives to schools to re-open on October 13.
This is coming on the heels of the visit of Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu to the Rivers State EVD Isolation Centre at Oduoha, Emohua Local Government Area, where he reiterated that the federal government was in total control of the EVD emergency.
There was also good news for the Nigerian government with the highly influential Time Magazine commending it for the swift containment of the Ebola virus in the country.
The decision to bring forward the date for the re-opening of schools was the outcome of the series of meeting which concerned federal ministries had with relevant stakeholders over the Ebola Virus Disease crisis.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau announced the new September 22 date after a meeting with commissioners of education from the 36 states and the FCT in Abuja yesterday.
He disclosed that the review was at the instance of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last Wednesday following a positive progress report from the Ministry of Health that Nigeria was successfully curtailing the spread of the virus.
The new date, he said was arrived at in consideration for the welfare of students among other factors.
Shekarau however reiterated that the training of a minimum of two teachers per school, in the earlier directive, continues and should end on or before September 22. He also directed that schools yet to procure basic requirements in terms of temperature measuring equipment should do so.
He also urged all state education ministries to put in place rapid response team to address any reported case of Ebola. This he said, was necessary, as no case should be trivialised or trivially handled.
Nigeria Will Contain Spread of Ebola, Says Chukwu…
The Minister of Health who addressed journalists in Port Harcourt after visiting the EVD Isolation Centre at Oduoha said although the outbreak of EVD was a national emergency, the federal government was in total control of the situation.
Chukwu said: "We are in total control of Ebola in Nigeria. We will deal with it in Rivers State the way we dealt with it in Lagos State. If we have one or two positive cases in Rivers State, we have world-class facilities to handle them."
According to the Minister, no fewer than 403 contacts had been made with people who had both primary and secondary contacts with the carriers of the Ebola virus since the outbreak of the disease in the country, adding that 300 people who had such contacts had been discharged.
The minister who further disclosed that eight out of the 18 persons tested positive had been treated, cleared and discharged of Ebola symptoms across the country. He confirmed that only a patient was at the Ebola Isolation Centre in Oduoha, Emohua Local Government Area of the state while the other patient is at the National Treatment Centre in Lagos.
TIME Magazine Commends Nigeria…
Meanwhile, the highly influential Times Magazine has commended the Nigerian government for effectively containing the EVD outbreak. It reported in its latest edition that “fears that Africa’s most populous country would become a tinderbox for the disease have so far not come to fruition.”
The Magazine stated that though, Ebola was still running rampant in parts of West Africa, “but in nearby Nigeria, the government has largely contained Ebola in a single cluster traced back to the first imported case.
“Nigerian authorities quickly and effectively reacted to contain the disease, tracking people who had contact with patients, conducting widespread testing and quarantining suspected victims.”
John Vertefeuille, who leads the Nigeria Ebola response team of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also told the magazine that “the response of the Nigerian government has been robust.”