The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has directed all airlines operating regional and international flights, to exercise a high level of vigilance to prevent incursion of Ebola virus into the country.
This, it said was in line with International Health Regulations (IHR).
NCAA General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye in a statement on Tuesday, said the warning followed resurgence of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Adurogboye said the directive was contained in a letter signed by NCAA Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, and had since been sent to all airline operators.
“In the letter, NCAA directed that airlines’ Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flight in line with Nig.CARs 18.104.22.168.
“In case of a suspected case of communicable disease onboard an aircraft, aircrew are required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 respectively.
“Thereafter, completed forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome.
“In addition, airlines are to ensure they have onboard valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs) and Emergency Medical kits in line with Nig.CARS 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206,” he said.
Adurogboye said airlines were to refresh the knowledge of their crew members (flight deck and cabin crew) for improved and sustained proficiency in handling and communication with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
He said in case of death to a patient, operating airlines should endeavour to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
According to Adurogboye, airlines are to report to NCAA in writing any suspected case of communicable disease onboard any flight.
He said similarly, ATC should immediately communicate to PHS any report of a suspected case of communicable disease on board aircraft in line with Nig. CARs 220.127.116.11.
Adurogboye said the authority expected strict compliance and would collaborate with all relevant agencies to prevent the incursion of Ebola or any communicable disease into the country.
IBB calls for inclusive unity
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda, IBB, has called for collective effort aimed at uniting all segments of the country.
Speaking on the occasion of his 78th birthday on Saturday in Minna, the former leader said it is when there is unity that the country can move forward, adding that every Nigerians had a role to play in the matter.
“We don’t have any other country except Nigeria. So, we must all work today, young and old to ensure that this country survives.
“The unity of the country is sacrosanct. We must make sure we identify ourselves as Nigerians before talking of tribe, religion and region we come from,” adding that Nigerians must strive to ensure that the nation remained one indivisible entity.
IBB expressed gratitude to God for sparing his life long enough to attain the age of 78.
“I want to thank Almighty Allah for sparing my life to witness this day. Allah has been very kind to me and I remained grateful to Him,” he said.
Our reporter said that the Uphill residence of the former leader was filled with guests among whom included a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Alfa Belgore; lawmakers from the National Assembly, former governors and military administrators, including Col Habibu Shuaibu
FAAN announces day to close Enugu airport runway
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saturday notified airlines and passengers that the runway at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu will be closed on August 24, for major repairs.
FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the closure of the airport is coming three months after the immediate past Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the airport would be closed over the state of the runway.
Sirika had said that the airport would be degraded for international operations because the runway length is not ideal for such operations.
Mrs Yakubu explained that the closure was aimed at resolving the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations.
She said the closure of the runway would took effect by 12 a.m. on August 24.
She noted that a date to reopen the runway would be communicated in due course.
Mrs Yakubu said FAAN remained committed to its core values of safety, security and comfort of the airport users in the country.
Meanwhile, the management of Air Peace has commended the Federal Government for the decision to close the Enugu International Airport for proper repair and maintenance of the airport’s runway.
The airline’s Chairman, Allen Onyema, who made the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos, noted that the runway had been given stakeholders serious safety concerns.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Air Peace is fully and totally in support of this decision. Though the decision will affect the traveling public.
“However, the airline, place the safety of the flying public, our crew and equipment above any commercial benefits.
“The government should go all out to put everything in place, within the period of the closure, that will make the airport rank among the best international airports in the country.
“We plead with the federal government to make the airport a 24-hour flight operations airport by improving the night landing infrastructure,” he said.
El-Zakzaky: Falana asks FG for new medical plan
Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the lawyer to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, has called the Federal Government to provide an alternative and adequate treatment for the couple in Nigeria.
The Senior lawyer also said that he would file a fresh application for El-Zakzaky and his wife to be re-flown abroad for treatment if his demand was not met.
The leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky on Friday returned to Nigeria, after refusing treatment in India.
Recall that El-Zakzaky, who is facing an 8-count charge in a case of homicide filed by the Kaduna State Government, was granted leave for medical treatment by a Kaduna High Court on Aug. 5.
Subsequently, El-Zakzaky and his wife travelled to India via Dubai for medical treatment after the Federal Government and relevant agencies took steps to comply with the order in spite of protestation by Kaduna State Government.
Falana, in a statement yesterday, said: “It is disturbing that the planned medical treatment of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife in India was aborted and that they have since returned to Nigeria.
“However, in view of their critical health conditions, the El-Zakzakys and the Federal Government should urgently reach an understanding to facilitate their medical treatment in Nigeria.
“In other words, since the Federal Government is apparently not prepared to allow the couple to seek medical treatment abroad for fear that they may seek political asylum, the authorities should provide adequate medical equipment for their treatment in Nigeria without any further delay.
“The unfortunate episode had embarrassed the Federal Government and that Nigeria has become a laughing stock to the extent that her leaders and citizens (who have the financial wherewithal) have to travel abroad for medical treatment.
“For goodness sake in what way was the Indian Government offended by the insistence of the El-Zakzakys to be treated by doctors of their choice”.
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