The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has activated Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the spread of Monkeypox.
NCDC in a statement by its Director General, Ifedayo Adetifa, explained that the action was to strengthen in-country preparedness and to contribute to the global response to the disease.
He also confirmed that as at May 29, 21 confirmed cases with one death had been reported from nine states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – Adamawa (5), Lagos (4), Bayelsa (2), Delta (2), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Imo (1), Rivers (1).
He said the death was reported in a 40-year-old patient who had underlying co-morbidity and was on immunosuppressive medications.
Adetifa noted that genomic surveillance was ongoing at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, and so far, all of the cases have been confirmed to be caused by West Africa clade Monkeypox virus.
He said among the 21 cases reported in 2022 so far, there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus, nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented (including symptoms, profile and virulence).
“Prior to the activation of the Monkeypox EOC, a multi-agency Technical Working Group coordinated at the NCDC-led Nigeria’s efforts to improve the detection, prevention and control of Monkeypox.
“Nigeria’s national surveillance system, the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System was first deployed in response to the 2017 Monkeypox outbreak to improve the timeliness and completeness of case reporting, as well as facilitate the overall response,” he said.
However, airlines and airports are yet to receive any health guidelines or protocols from NCDC over the outbreak of monkeypox.
A source within the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority told Daily Sun that the agency has not yet received any directive on what the monkeypox health protocol would be from the NCDC and as such, cannot give any directives to airlines.
President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, Susan Akporiaye, told Daily Sun that so far, the outbreak is not affecting flights as travel agents have not received any travel guidelines from airlines.
“The monkeypox outbreak is not affecting flights because so far, there has been no official communication either by any airline or the World Health Organisation on the issue which means the industry hasn’t been affected,” she said.
On whether the Federal Government has adjusted the COVID guidelines for travel, Akporiaye said: “The COVID protocol for passengers coming into Nigeria has not changed and it is still the same cost for those that have not been vaccinated. You would require a COVID test before you can come in and you would still need to require a day one and day two test. It is only those who are fully vaccinated that do not need to do the test, you just fill in your record locator and travel permit, that is all.
“For those travelling outside, when you are leaving Nigeria, it is the COVID protocol of the country you are going to that you would abide by. We are hoping that the Federal Government does something about the COVID protocol. The UK has lifted the COVID rules for everyone whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, US, Canada, Nigeria and some other countries have not lifted for non-vaccinated,” she said. – The Sun.