ABUJA:President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday branded a Liberian-American a “madman” for bringing Ebola into Nigeria, as the country announced its 10th confirmed case of the deadly virus.
Patrick Sawyer died in a Lagos hospital on July 25 in Nigeria’s first case of Ebola, which has claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people in West Africa since the start of the year.
The 40-year-old, who was to have attended a meeting of the regional bloc ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), was taken to hospital after arriving in Lagos on a flight from Monrovia via the Togolese capital, Lome.
A nurse who treated him died last week, while tests last weekend confirmed that another had also contracted the virus. Eight others have also tested positive, the government said.
“It is unfortunate that one madman brought the Ebola to us but we have to contain it,” Jonathan told faith leaders at a conference in the capital, Abuja, vowing the government would do “everything possible” to combat its spread.
Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s leading
economy — had until last month been spared from Ebola, which has spread alarmingly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
But its arrival has sown fear throughout the country and particularly in Lagos, a teeming megacity of more than 20 million people with crumbling infrastructure and poor healthcare facilities.
The authorities in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city have appealed for volunteers because of a shortage of medical personnel, exacerbated by a month-long doctors’ strike.
A number of measures to tackle the spread of Ebola, which is passed on through direct contact with an infected person displaying symptoms, have already been announced.