By James Agberebi:
The international friendly game between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo is in danger of being called off following a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the central African country.
Ebola is a deadly, fast-spreading disease that kills its sufferers in a matter of days. The virus spreads by direct contact with body fluids, such as blood, of an infected human or other animals. This may also occur through contact with an item recently contaminated with bodily fluids.
The Eagles are expected to face DR Congo on May 28 as part of their preparation ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But according to BBC Africa, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced that it is taking swift action to make sure Ebola does not enter the country. This leads to the possibility of the game not holding in order to avoid the disease spreading to Nigeria.
Speaking on the outbreak, NIS spokesperson Sunday James told BBC Yoruba that immigration officials would tighten vigilance at airports and make more use of thermometers to screen passengers.
“We are sending a signal to all entry points in the country. The intention is to ensure that any suspected case can be promptly handed over to health officials at the airports. This is a matter which everybody must be concerned about. All hands must be on deck,” James said.
There was an Ebola outbreak in 2014 in West Africa which killed 11,000 people – mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The disease also spread to Nigeria when Patrick Sawyer, who was infected with the virus, flew into the country from Liberia.
Eight people died, including Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevo, who first attended to Mr Sawyer and helped to ensure a more devastating outbreak was avoided in Nigeria.