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Fresh Ebola outbreak: NCAA issues guidelines to airlines, urges vigilance

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By Lawani Mikairu

lagos—FOLLOWING fresh outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, yesterday urged airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country, to be vigilant and screen their passengers properly to avoid carrying an effected passenger.

This was contained in a circular with ref no. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated 11th  May, 2018, dispatched to all operating airlines.

According to Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, 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.

Adurogboye however said the outbreak of the disease in DRC was yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation ,WHO, as a Public Health Event of International Concern, PHEIC.

According to the statement: “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

“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 and 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”.

“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),” he added.

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