By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The federal government has advised Nigerians to avoid countries already confirmed to have cases of corona virus.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba gave the warning in a press release.
The press release signed by Gloria Ogbaki, Head Press Unit enjoined the general public to be alert over the outbreak of lasa fever virus in some states of the country.
The DG stated that the Agency is working with line ministries, departments and Agencies to ensure that every harmful biological agent is contained and eliminated.
“The Agency is working assiduously with sister Agencies to ensure that the spread of lasa fever and any other disease caused by biological agent is contained and not allowed to cause any more harm to humans and the environment,” he said.
He however asked the general public to be vigilant and to take necessary protective measures such as avoiding contact with rats, block all rat hideouts, store foodstuffs in rodent proof containers, cook all foods thoroughly, always wash hands thoroughly after contact with a sick person, noting that some of the symptoms of lasa fever includes: fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and severe cases of bleeding from the mouth and other body openings.
He also urged Nigerians not to panic as the government is doing all within its power to ensure that the deadly corona virus is not allowed into the country.
“This virus is a type of coronavirus, it can affect the lungs and symptoms include common colds and flu and can spread person to person by coughing and sneezing. Its symptoms include difficulty in breathing, fever and coughing and can lead to organ failure, pneumonia and death. The best way to cambat it is to avoid close contact with people who might be sick or carrying it.
“The federal government is making very swift moves to ensure that the lasa fever virus is properly contained while ensuring that the corona virus does not come into our borders.
“He advised citizens to avoid countries already confirmed to have cases of corona virus.
Dr Ebegba said with the creation of the new Biosecurity department, the NBMA will collaborate with line Agencies and stakeholders to ensure that harmful Biological agents are contained and eliminated.
He said the just concluded consultative meeting with stakeholders has given the Agency a good lead way in ensuring a very robust Biosecurity emergency response strategy and policy.
“We are happy with the level of willingness by sister Agencies to collaborate with the NBMA in ensuring that harmful biological Agents are adequately contained to avoid harm to humans and the environment, we are working on and will come out with a comprehensive National biosecurity emergency response strategy and policy that will check biological agents and ensure that they are adequately contained.
He assured Nigerians that the NBMA will not rest on its oars in the bid to ensure that humans and the environment are safe.