Coronavirus: NCAA to coordinate preventive measures

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has asked all stakeholders to coordinate preventive measures against the coronavirus at the country’s airports.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, the newly appointed Director-General of the NCAA, revealed this in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

Nuhu said that following the confirmed case of an Italian, the effort is to contain the spread of the virus. He added that the preventive measures were to ensure all travelers coming into the country are adequately screened while causing minimal disruption to them.

He noted that all contingency plans for public health events in aviation had been activated including airport-specific Public Health Emergency Contingency Plans (PHECPs).

Nuhu said NCAA had ensured that all measures adopted at Nigerian airports were in accordance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

“This measures 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).

“We have been working with the Federal Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to ensure all travelers coming into the country are adequately screened while causing minimum disruption to the facilitation of travel.

“NCAA 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.

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“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.

“Others are on the assessment of suspect or ill travelers and any other measures they may adopt,” he said.

Nuhu advised airlines, airport operators, security agencies and other aviation industry stakeholders to take appropriate precautions to protect their staff.

He also advised the travelling public to remain calm but alert and take the necessary precautions in protecting themselves while traveling.

The director-general said this includes alerting crew members and airport facilitation staff of travelers that might look ill or showing signs and symptoms of the disease.

Nuhu said travelers 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.

He said travelers who develop signs and symptoms of the disease after returning from a trip abroad were to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest Health facility or call the NCDC on 0800-970000-10.