By Egufe Yafugborhi
NIGERIAN Ports Authority (NPA) has mobilised a response team and a holding Centre to deal with threats of Coronavirus (Covid-19) at terminals in Onne Port, Rivers State.
Onne Port Manager, Alhassan Abubakar, who briefed newsmen Friday on his management’s level of preparedness also said authorities of the NPA, collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health have also distributed sanitisers, nose masks and sundry prevention apparatus to serve staffs and visitors to the facility.
Onne Port, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers, as West Africa hub for oil and gas services and host to a free trade zone is a beehive of port terminal operations involving several vessels shipping oil and gas operations equipment from overseas.
Abubakar said: “We are proactive on this matter. Three weeks ago, we received a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Health. They want us to give them space as holding centre, in case any berthing crew member is suspected to have Corina Virus. We have provided a place.
“If there is any suspected to have the disease, the person is moved to the holding centre and then to a quarantine centre. The Rivers State Government has already announced to us that it has a quarantine centre.
“We have already deployed prevention materials, which arrived yesterday (Thursday) at the port. They include hand sanitisers, temperature gauge and nose masks. We have purchased protective items for our harbour crew and every member of staff now has the sanitisers and nose masks”
He said the response team of Onne Port Health Service officials are now the first persons who interface with crew members when a vessel arrives to observe necessary checks before other agencies as immigration and customs come in.