Ebola: Port Health intensifies screening of passengers of foreign airlines

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BY LAWANI MIKAIRU

Port Health Services, a division of the Ministry of Health, has intensified the screening of passengers aboard foreign airlines entering Nigeria through the  international wing of the  Murtala Muhammed  Airport, MMA, Lagos.

Arriving passengers on Cam Air, a Cameroon-based airlines were  screened at the international wing of the  MMA.
The passengers, who arrived Lagos airport at about 4.15 pm from both Cameroon and Gabon, were received by a team of Port Health officials attached to the facility, who immediately directed the passengers to be in a queue for the screening.

The Port Health official were armed with infra-red thermometer, and took the temperature of the over 100 passengers as they entered the restricted arrival area of the terminal. Vanguard learnt that it takes less than five minutes to screen  a passenger.

Some of the passengers ,who spoke with aviation reporters expressed satisfaction with the precautionary measures being taken by the Federal Government. Though some said they don’t know why their temperatures were taken. One of the female passengers said that she complied with directive by Port Health Officials to take her temperature but that she does not know why her temperature was taken. “I don’t know what they are doing but I just complied with their directive,” she said

A Nigerian passenger from Gabon, who  identified himself as Albert, who was on board the airplane said that he is aware of Ebola outbreak and so he decided to submit himself to the screening. “It is a very good measure and it is also good that Nigerian government is trying to do something because of Ebola virus,” he said
On whether there was any Ebola screening in Gabon for passengers, he said there was nothing like that.

Commenting on the screening, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati, said the screening is part of measures put  in place by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health to ensure that EVD does not spread.

He added that government would ensure that airlines at the point of departure would make sure that those infected by the virus are not brought into the country.

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