By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—BAYELSA State Government, weekend, said it has set up 103 surveillance centres in all the local government areas of the state as part of measures to check any outbreak of the Ebola virus in the state.
The state government also called on the people to imbibe the culture of personal hygiene to assist in the prevention and spread of the deadly virus.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who disclosed this in Yenagoa at the end of the maiden meeting of an 18 member task force on Ebola, assured the people that there was no cause for alarm, since the state has not recorded any reported case of the virus.
The governor noted that in the event of any outbreak, the state government has the capacity to deal with it.
He said: “In view of the high fatality rate associated with the scourge, there is need to treat it as a national security issue and government will provide all the support that the committee requires to function optimally.”
Dickson, who called on the people, particularly community and opinion leaders to be on the watch out for suspected patients with the Ebola symptoms, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the urgent steps taken to check the spread of the dreaded disease.
He advised the people against ingesting any unorthodox substances like drinking and bathing with salt water as two people have already died and others hospitalised from such practices.
In his remarks, Chairman of the 18-member Bayelsa State Task Force on Ebola Virus, Dr. Ayibatonye Owei, said “measures taken include mass sensitization of the people, public enlightenment campaign in the rural areas, Federal Medical Centre and the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital designated as centres, with isolation wards prepared for the management of the disease.
“In addition, help lines that are toll free have been introduced (09033107050), (09033148929), (08117168685) and (07010008755) as well as making of arrangement for the procurement of tents and protective equipment for health personnel.”