By Lawani Mikairu

A lady with nose cover at the arrival wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos . Photo Lamidi Bamidele

Following the confirmation by Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi  yesterday of an index case of COVID -19, an  Italian consultant with Larfarge Cement Company, Ewekoro, Ogun State in Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and Nigeria Port Health Services have intensified the screening of passengers entering the country through the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

This is just as the two agencies are making frantic efforts to get details on the index patient, Italian citizen, who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. The patient, a traveler who “ started his journey from Milan on Monday, 24th,  transmitted through Istanbul onboard a Turkish Airline and arrived in Lagos on Tuesday night, and spent the night in an hotel near the Lagos airport”.

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Speaking about the development, Regional Manager, Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Mrs Victoria Shinaba said screening had been strengthened at the airport to detect any case of the Corona Virus infection. She also said efforts are on ascertain how the Italian underwent screening procedures at the Lagos Airport from where he entered the country..

According to Shinaba, “all screening facilities, thermal body and infrared scanners had since been deployed since the outbreak of the covid19 for the screening of both inbound and outbound passengers”. She further noted that FAAN was working with the relevant Port Health Unit personnel and other stakeholders nationwide on the containment measures.

The Regional Manager added that “the authority was on top of the situation as it had escalated containment measures at airports nationwide”. She said all “concerned stakeholders; health officers, airlines and other secondary partners were all on red alert on the new development”.

She therefore urged air travellers and the general public to acquaint themselves with the Ministry of Aviation, health updates on prevention, information posted at strategic areas at the airport as well their jingle on the virus for prevention purposes.



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