The travelling public, especially air travellers have been urged to remain calm, be alert, and take necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves while travelling, and where found necessary, sound an alarm, alerting crew members and airport facilitation staff of travellers that may look ill or showing signs and symptoms of the disease.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, gave the admonition in the maiden media statement issued and signed by the newly confirmed Director General, Capt Musa Nuhu, who directed that travellers returning from countries experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19, should present themselves to Port Health Services on arrival at any of nation’s International Airport.
The statement further directed that 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.
It stated further that, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (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 begun 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.
The new DG in the statement pledged that NCAA will continue to ensure that airlines assist with the tracking of passengers who might have come in contact with suspected or ill persons as well as other measures the National Surveillance Systems requires.
Capt Nuhu reiterated that all contingency plans for public health events in Aviation had 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 the World Health Organisation, WHO, International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
The statement however advised airlines and other airport users 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.
The air transport regulatory authority sternly urged airlines, airport operators, security agencies and other aviation industry stakeholders to take appropriate precaution to protect their staff.
It will be recalled that since the confirmed case of COVID-19 on 27th February 2020, of an Italian travelling from Milan who came in through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Monday, 24th February 2020; the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos State Ministry of Health, and Ogun State Ministry of Health have swiftly responded to ensure there is no further spread of the disease.
TOP FOTO: Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Capt Musa NuhuShare