By Lawani Mikairu
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu yesterday said the agency is harmonizing all the measures being taken by the various agencies and organizations saddled with the responsibility of screening and preventing the spread of the dreaded Corona-Virus at the nation’s airports.
This is coming after the first recorded confirmed case of COVID-19 on 27th February 2020, of an Italian traveling from Milan who came in through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Monday, 24th February 2020.
According to Captain Nuhu, NCAA “in line with the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) has been working with the Federal Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to ensure all travellers coming into the country are adequately screened while causing minimum disruption to facilitation of travel”.
He said the agency will continue to ensure that airlines assist with the tracking of passengers who may have come in contact with suspect or ill persons as well as other measures the National Surveillance Systems requires.
The Director General disclosed that all contingency plans for public health events in Aviation have been activated “including airport-specific Public Health Emergency Contingency Plans (PHECPs). NCAA has ensured that all measures adopted at Nigerian airports are in accordance to ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005)”.
“Airlines and other airport users are advised to heed the guidance of Port Health Services (a division of the Federal Ministry of Health and Competent Public Health Authority at Point of Entry) on the use of screening forms, assessment of suspect or ill travellers and any other measures they may adopt. Airlines, Airport operators, Security agencies and other aviation industry stakeholders are advised to take appropriate precaution to protect their staff.”
“We advise the travelling public to remain calm but alert and take necessary precaution in protecting themselves while traveling, including alerting crew members and airport facilitation staff to travellers that may look ill or showing signs and symptoms of the disease.
Travellers returning from countries experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19 should present themselves to Port Health Services on arrival at the Point of Entry – International Airport. Travellers who develop signs and symptoms of the disease after returning from a trip abroad are to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest Health facility or call the NCDC on 0800-970000-10,” Captain Nuhu said.