- The federal government of Nigeria is taking precautionary measures after the recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- The Federal Ministry of Health has been taking concerted steps to ensure that the virus does not creep into the country
- Operating airlines have been told to be vigilant and screen their passengers properly to avoid carrying passengers with Ebola
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday May 15, urged airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country, to be vigilant and screen their passengers properly to avoid carrying passengers with Ebola.
This guideline, which was contained in a circular with ref number NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated 11th May, 2018, became imperative after fresh Ebola outbreak was recorded in Democratic Republic of Congo, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com notes that the general manager, public relations of NCAA, stated in the circular that all airlines were informed of the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8, 2018.
The statement read: “Notwithstanding, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have been taking concerted steps to ensure the virus does not creep into Nigeria. Therefore to forestall the EVD infiltration, the regulatory authority has therefore directed all airlines to carry out these measures in the interim. Pilots-in-Command of an aircraft are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight in line with Nig.CARs 188.8.131.52.
“In case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 respectively. Completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination Aerodrome. Airlines are to ensure they have onboard valid and appropriate number of first aid kits, universal precaution kits and emergency medical kits in line with Nig. CARs 18.104.22.168.
“Airlines are to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in the handling and communicating with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board. Airlines are to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country. Airlines are to report to NCAA in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), will continue to collaborate with all relevant agencies to ensure that the Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan (PHECP) developed for the guidance of aviation stakeholders are adhered to. This will prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through our air borders (Airports)."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Ebola deadly virus, that raged in some West African countries several years ago, staged a return in the northwest part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), killing 17 people.
Congo’s health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact".
It is the DRC’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the deadly viral disease was first identified in then Zaire by a Belgian-led team.
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