ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a national emergency on Friday in response to the deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus.
Jonathan also authorized the release of $6.1 million to implement a Special Intervention Plan, which the State House explained will "further strengthen on-going steps to contain the virus such as the establishment of additional isolation centers, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders, and the procurement of required items and facilities."
The president directed the Federal Ministry of Health to coordinate with the State Ministries of Health, the National Center for Disease Control, and the National Emergency Management Agency to take appropriate steps to respond to the outbreak in accordance with international protocol.
To date, the World Health Organization has recorded 13 cases of confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola in Nigeria, including two deaths.
Nigeria's declaration of a national emergency is in line with guidance released on Friday by WHO's first Emergency Committee meeting in response to the Ebola outbreak.
Noting that the outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency," the Committee advised heads of state to declare national emergencies and instruct health ministers to take the lead coordinating and implementing emergency Ebola response measures.
Nigeria is among four West African countries grappling with the Ebola outbreak. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been significantly impacted.