After a 42-day period without new cases of Ebola in the country, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Nigeria Ebola free. According to a WHO representative, Rui Gama Vaz who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Monday, he said “Nigeria is now free of Ebola”.
According to a report from Aljazeera, Vaz said: “The virus is gone for now. The outbreak in Nigeria has been defeated. This is a spectacular success story that shows to the world that Ebola can be contained”.
The pronouncement by the world’s apex health institution was a welcome development in the country, as the average Nigerian is relieved of the phobia of contracting the disease in his environment. However, health officials want people to celebrate but to remain cautious, as Nigeria borders is open to all and sundry.
Nigeria becomes the second country in West Africa to be declared Ebola free in the past week. On Friday, the UN health agency declared Senegal free of Ebola after it passed the 42 day landmark.
“WHO officially declares the Ebola outbreak in Senegal over and commends the country on its diligence to end the transmission of the virus,” the WHO said.
In all, eight people died out of 20 confirmed cases in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, and the oil hub of Port Harcourt, while nearly 900 people were monitored for signs of the disease.
More than 4,500 people have died and nearly 10,000 have been infected with the haemorrhagic fever, most of them in West Africa, since the start of the year.