The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called on Airlines to be wary of the dreadful ebola virus, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country.
The authority made the call in a circular with ref no. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated 11th May, 2018, dispatched to all operating airlines.
In a statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, it stated that in the circular, all airlines were informed of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 8th May, 2018.
It was noted that, the outbreak of EVD in DRC is yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC).
The statement read, “Notwithstanding, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have been taken 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 184.108.40.206.
“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 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 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 22.214.171.124.”
Airlines are however advised to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in the handling and communicating with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
The authosity also urged that airlines are to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
“Airlines are to report to the Authority in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight.
“The circular signed by the Director General has since been sent to all the airlines,” the statement said.
NCAA also assured that it 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, according to the regulatory agency, will prevent the importation of any communicable disease into Nigeria through her Airports.
By Patrick Aigbokhan