Report has it that the Directors of First Consultant Hospital, Obalende and the bereaved families of the four Nigerians who died after contracting the Ebola Virus from Mr. Patrick Sawyer, are considering a major suit against the Liberian government for allowing Sawyer to come to Nigeria despite the fact that it was aware that he had contact with his sister who died recently of the deadly virus.
The dreaded Ebola virus was brought to Nigeria last month by the Liberian. He had contracted the disease in his country and then flew into Nigeria aboard an Asky flight to attend an ECOWAS conference of the in Calabar. Among his victims were Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, the senior consultant at the hospital, two nurses at the hospital, and an ECOWAS protocol officer who accompanied him on arrival in Nigeria.
ThisDay reports that for allowing Sawyer out of Liberia given the fact that the surveillance video at the Liberian airport showed that he was avoiding people at the airport, apparently because he did not want to have body contact, the Liberian government is believed to be liable.
The Liberian media had also reported how Sawyer personally took his sister to the hospital seeking treatment before she died. Being such a primary contact with his sister who died of Ebola was enough for the Liberian government to have quarantined him or put him under close watch as he was clearly a danger to public health. Instead, they allowed him into the airport and also allowed him to travel to Nigeria.
The directors of First Consultant believe that the Liberian government is further liable when its envoy in Lagos came to the hospital to try to persuade the hospital authorities and indeed force them to release Sawyer to travel to Calabar despite being down with Ebola.
They believe the envoy’s action established the culpability of the Liberian government and they intend to press for maximum damages in an appropriate law court, whether in Nigeria or in the international judicial system as someone has to be held responsible for the needless loss of lives at First Consultant Hospital, in what they called “biological warfare” inflicted by Sawyer and abetted by the Liberian government through its criminal negligence.
While five of those who had primary contacts with him and later tested positive to the virus had been successfully treated and discharged, four other Nigerians who have tested positive to the virus are currently in isolation undergoing treatment. Among those already discharged was a patient who was in the hospital at the time of Sawyer’s admission.
Also, close to 200 people who had secondary contacts, are currently being monitored.
The Liberian President had earlier apologized to the Nigerian government and also gave a hint that her government was aware that he may have contracted the disease from his sister and was being monitored but that “Sawyer ignored medical advice and escaped out of Liberia.”