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Nigeria now has 10 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) with 177 persons under surveillance, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chuwku, said on Monday in Abuja.

Chukwu made the disclosure while updating newsmen on the efforts by the government to contain the disease.

“It has been 22 days since EVD first landed in Nigeria. As at today, 177 primary and secondary contacts of the index case have been placed under surveillance or isolation.

“The 10th case actually was one of the nurses who also had contact with our index case; when she got ill we brought her into isolation, we just tested her over the weekend and she tested positive.

“That is what made it 10 cases since the last conference on Friday, Between Friday and today, we have one additional case that brings it to 10.

“Nine people developed EVD, bringing the total number of cases in Nigeria to 10; of these 10, two have died — the Liberian American and the Nigerian nurse — while eight are alive and currently on treatment,’’ he said.

Chukwu disclosed that Nigeria was the first and only African country to have donated 3.5 million dollars for humanitarian aid and capacity building to the three Ebola affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

He recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had declared a national emergency on Ebola and approved N1.9 billion intervention fund to combat the outbreak of the Virus.

The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to continue to discharge its responsibilities in confronting and stopping the outbreak of Ebola.

On the strike by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), he said government had consistently appealed to the association to call off the strike.

“We are still discussing with the NMA, we are still pleading with the association to ask its members to return to work, while we are still doing that we have not gone to bed, we are not sleeping.

“There are doctors who are not part of the strike and they have been taking part in the management of these patients, we are still recruiting more volunteers because we need more people to come into the fight against Ebola.

“Not only doctors because it includes health workers, nurses, environmental officers, sanitary officers, laboratory scientists, pharmacists and the likes,’’ he said.

The minister urged the public to adhere to the self-precautionary measures of hand washing and avoiding unnecessary contact to control the spread of the disease. (NAN)