The Liberian Government on Thursday apologised to Nigeria over the importation of the deadly Ebola Virus by a Liberian-born American, Patrick Sawyer.
Sawyer arrived Lagos on July 20 from Lome but died five days after he was admitted into a hospital in Obalende when he showed Ebola virus symptoms.
The Liberian-born American came into contact with 59 people in both the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the hospital. Eight of the hospital contacts were quarantined at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba. One of them, a matron, who died on Tuesday became the first Nigerian casualty. Five others, including a female medical doctor, had as of Wednesday, tested positive to the virus.
The Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nurudeem Mohammed, told journalists in Abuja that President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, was deeply sorry that Sawyer brought the virus to Nigeria.
He said that the deceased was under surveillance in Liberia but that he sneaked into Lagos.
Mohammed said, “The Liberian President has personally called to apologise on the unfortunate development.
“She specifically said her country had declared a state of emergency over the Ebola epidermic in Liberia.
‘She equally apologised that Sawyer ignored medical advice and escaped out of Liberia.”
However, hopes that the United States may send Zmapp, the experimental drug for Ebola virus treatment, appear dashed going by US President Barack Obama’s declaration that it was too early for West African countries hit by the outbreak to have it.
Obama made the US position known at a news conference at the end of an African summit on Wednesday. While he spoke at the event, the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, told journalists in Abuja that he had written the US Centre for Disease Control requesting for ZMapp.