By Yunus Yusuf
Lagos – A Nigerian major carrier, Air Peace, says it didn’t transport a passenger suspected of being infected with Coronavirus on its Lagos-Kano flight on Tuesday.
The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Toyin Olajide, made this known on Wednesday in Lagos.
Olajide explained that a 13-year-old boy, accompanied by his parents, but flying for the first time, suffered flight phobia and vomited while the aircraft was airborne.
She said “We did not carry any passenger that has COVID-19. What happened was that a 13-year-old boy was travelling by air for the first time.
“He was with his parents, while airborne, and he started vomiting. The pilot promptly called Port Health, even when it was obvious that he was suffering from flight phobia.
“The captain also informed the Control Tower about the incident, but when the aircraft landed, some people made a video of the aircraft and started circulating false information about what really happened.
“When the aircraft landed it was delayed for 50 minutes so that Port Health officials would come and examine the boy.
“They checked his temperature and certified him okay. They also disinfected the aircraft, and we boarded passengers aircraft to Abuja.
“We have been protecting our passengers and crew from Coronavirus.
“We are the first airline to adopt the screening of passengers for COVID-19 before boarding them.
“We have our COVID-19 team, which must certify every passenger before boarding.
“It is regrettable that some people chose to misinform the public about what happened,” Olajide said.
She said that as it has become a tradition, the airline’s COVID-19 team, sanitised and checked the temperature of every passenger and approval was given before the boy was allowed to board the airline’s flight.
Olajide also said that the aircraft was again disinfected by Port Health Authorities at the Kano Airport before passengers were checked in to Abuja.
Olajide further explained that when the boy was tested, the test showed negative.
However, reacting to the situation Co-Chair, Kano State Task Force on COVID-19, Prof. Abdul Razak Habib in a statement issued on Wednesday also said the patient is not a suspected case as a preliminary test run on the patient test negative and he does not have the symptoms of COVID-19.
‘’The case is a young man of 17-years old and a first-timer boarding aircraft. Hence the boy boarded the aircraft for the first time and developed phobia,’’ said Prof. Habib’’.