By Adegboyega Oni
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has disclosed that it is working with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos State 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.
NCAA noted the step is 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).
Captain Musa Nuhu, Director General of NCAA, made this known in a press statement issued by the organization and personally signed by him.
According to Nuhu, ‘’NCAA will continue to ensure that airlines assist with the tracking of passengers who may have come in contact with the suspect or ill persons as well as other measures the National Surveillance Systems requires.
‘’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 with 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 precautions to protect their staff.
‘’We advise the travelling public to remain calm but alert and take the 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. Travelers returning from countries experiencing community transmission of the COVID-19should 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 assured travellers that the organization would continue to ensure that their safety and wellbeing is attended to at all times.
‘’NCAA is committed to the safety of travellers and Nigeria’s National Health Security and will continue to do all that is necessary to ensure both,’’ said the NCAA boos.
Nigeria recorded the first 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.