Rivers official confirms suspected Ebola Death in Port Harcourt

A highly placed official of the Rivers state Government has confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that a suspected case of the Ebola Virus Disease has been detected in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the development with journalists, simply said, “Yes, there was a case of Ebola death. We are tracking everybody.”

Seventy people suspected to have had contact with the case have been tracked and quarantined, the official said.

The official spoke to this newspaper following reports that a doctor in the Rivers state capital had died from what appeared to be Ebola.

The Rivers state Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, could not be reached for comments last night as she was said to be outside the country.

The unnamed doctor, according to news website, Sahara Reporters, secretly treated a diplomat who had contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American, who brought the virus to Nigeria.

The doctor reportedly died on Friday, while his wife had also taken ill and now quarantined in Port Harcourt.

The diplomat treated by the doctor is still alive, the report said.

The diplomat is believed to be among those who met Mr. Sawyer on his arrival in Lagos. He then flew to Port Harcourt where he took ill.

He was treated at an unnamed hotel in the Rivers state capital, an official said.

The doctor’s hospital, Good Heart Hospital, as well as the hotel where he treated the diplomat, have been shut down, reports say.

This development, if confirmed will be a big blow to Nigeria’s effort to contain the deadly virus.

With only one case being treated in Lagos, the Minister of Health had declared Tuesday that Nigeria had succeeded in checkmating the spread of the virus in the country.

“Ebola has been curtailed,” an excited Mr. Chukwu said with glee on Tuesday. “All 129 people under surveillance have completed the 21-day observation period and only a person is symptomatic and is being observed.”

However on Wednesday, the minister became a bit measured in his celebration, downgrading his earlier message of euphoria to that of cautious optimism.

He hinted that it was still early for Nigeria to claim to be free of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Mr. Chukwu said Nigeria was still at risk of the Ebola virus despite having only one confirmed case.

Saying the country had only succeeded in taming the virus, the minister said between one to three new cases might surface from people currently under surveillance.

“I don’t want us to move from panic to euphoria which may be a problem,” the minister said. “Nigeria is doing well on containment, all the disease in Nigeria were all traced to Patrick Sawyer. We have not eliminated the disease because we still have a case we are managing which may have had a third party contact. As long as there is a case of ebola disease, Nigeria is still at risk. So we have done well on containment but the problem is not over.”

He said Nigeria remained at risk of Ebola and that that would only change “when the very last case of Ebola virus disease under this current epidemic has gone”.

“As we speak, there is a case we are still managing. And even that case we are still managing must also have had her own third degree contacts, many of whom are part of this number of people that are under surveillance. “So until we give a clean bill of health to every contact, we cannot even say we have eliminated the disease,” Mr. Chukwu said.

It is not clear whether the minister had a hint of the development in Rivers when he spoke on Wednesday.

 


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  • Wähala

    The diplomat should be striped of diplomatic immunity and prosecuted for feloniously endangering public health and safety. The corruption that I’ve railed about from the creek crooks and their insatiable lust for money must have caused the late doctor to discard caution by insensitively hiding a dangerous patient in a hostel without concern for other guests and the even his own family. Serves him right, I hope he rots in hell. I insist, unless Nigeria heeds my advise like the Govt. of Australia is doing by gathering all Aborigines on their canoes… then shoo them off to their natural habitat in the South Pacific Island of Papua New Guinea, we will continue to patching up a basket. They are amoral, greedy, insensitive and irresponsible. This is truly sad news…

    • the truth

      I would not insult u wahala but I am presuming u must be drunk with this kind of post or u want unnecessary attention.with all due respect if I was close to u I would have personally paid for a cab to take u to a mental home for psychiatric evaluation.

      • Danjuma

        This calls for a more deep search on all those that met the killer,Mr Patrick…Nigeria has done so much for Liberia…is this how they are paying us back…Nigeria shud demand the immediate sack of Liberias deputy finance minister for granting Sauyers transfer travel

      • Wähala

        Why would a quack doctor take it upon himself to treat a virulent case in private under illegal circumstances? Go ahead, insult all you want but, it takes only amoral SS person to do such. If anybody needs mental healthcare, it’s all you creeksters, no news is ever good news from yonder. Ebola we thought is contained and here we go again with 70 potential cases yet, you talk of empty insults to me. Go on and see if I care… Nigeria’s problems originate from the SS and unless we purge you fools, nothing good will be of our nation. Animals!

    • Ade#

      Chairman, relax with indiscriminate consumption of hard drugs.

      • Wähala

        I only do odeku…

    • redeem

      U KNOW WAHALA–with his usual civil war sentiments—in his baifran mind Port Harcourt under Odili ati Amaechi was supposed to be their capital of biafra-since 99.9 percent of the contracts by these traitors are often awarded to the ibos———–that is why its very troubling that another IKWERRE MAN YEARNS TO BE GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STARTE–again-There is no doubt about it that-today Rivers and Bayelsa state are under the control of ibos who have refused to leave us alone in those states——–Jonathan himself has allowed them eat deep into his mind–left for me alone every —with Amaechi as the governor–of Ikwerres who were liberated by Ijaws———–that is why he is troubled

      • Wähala

        Ebola Jona has come home to Okrika… no be onye Igbo carry’am come, na ya ogogoro doctor. Another fake from mba mmiri… waterside dokitor! Hope it kills you ati Asari pelu Clark… and, All Aborigines!

        • redeem

          was it jonathan that took it to Ghana———————do not worry very soon u will al be sent packing to onitsha bridge head where u rightly belong–no wonder u lost the biafra war–u want to start another one abi

  • UnderG

    Oga ooo…. Naija. May be this clueless government will now find reasons to use the =N=1.x billion to prosecute the EVD than buy cars and chloroquine tablets. My Opionion

    • redeem

      iS THE MINISTER NOT AN IBO MAN FROM THE SAME TRIBE WITH WAHALA//AWARE THE MONEY WAS ALLOCATED TO FIND SOLUTION TO THE EBOLA VIRIUS–NOW A MINSTER FROM THE SOUTH EAST WANTS TO STEAL THAT WHICH DOES NOT BELONG TO HIM

  • Ehi

    This is terrible.

  • Bigtin

    I won’t believe Premium Times or Sahara Reporters but will await the Hon. Minister of Health to speak on any new case or not.

    • Timi

      Keep on awaiting the minister

      • Bigtin

        He’s a more credible source than this your unnamed Premium Times/Sahara Reporter’s doctor….. “The unnamed doctor, according to news website, Sahara Reporters, secretly treated a diplomat who had contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American, who brought the virus to Nigeria.”

        • antonym

          Look at it this way- Do u think Ebola came into Nigeria through Sawyer alone? With the millions of illegal borders around the country, several carriers may have entered the country unbeknownst to the health ministry. Sawyer is simply the officially known first index of Ebola…it is shocking to hear from the minister that the virus has been curtailed already. It will surely take a while to do so.

          • Timi

            I remember that this same minister said that Nigeria was ready to screen all people entering into the country and that they even a vaccine in place when ebola was first reported earlier this year

  • Ette

    This throws out serious issues of concern about all the talk about quarantining all those who had primary contact with the index case of Sawyer. Minister of health have been blowing lies about tracking these people. How on earth would a doctor worth its qualification keep someone with Ebola symptoms in a hotel to treat and the hotel did not report such unethical conduct to authorities. Both the hotel and hospital must be permanently closed down. The doctor must be a quack. What a country.

    • Huck231

      Because your doctors are hungry men and women.

    • prevail

      Just know that there is nothing impossible in our country……..Nigeria—–where everything goes even @ ones own risk,but just for the interest of money.

    • kate

      Exactly my thoughts

  • OMOBA

    Abeg make I hear word. Ebola politics and boko haram politics

  • prevail

    The Rivers State recent development is yet another big blow to the country. A common boarder with me—– Abia State.God will help us.

  • prevail

    Is this site to comment on matters on ground or to rain curses on one another??

  • Abdulazeez Oyibo

    For the umpteenth time, heads must roll or we revert to the “Egyptian remedy”.