The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Tuesday called for a high level vigilance by the airlines, especially those operating international and regional flights into the country.
Mr Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, made the call in a statement issued in Lagos.
Adurogboye said that a circular with Ref. No. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated May 11, 2018 and signed by the agency’s Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, had been dispatched to all the airlines.
He explained that the airlines were informed of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on May 8.
He however said that the outbreak in DRC, had yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC).
“Notwithstanding, the 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 flights in line with Nig.CARs 22.214.171.124,” he said.
Adurogboye said that in case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew were to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig. CARs 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52, respectively.
He said that the Completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms were to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination Aerodrome.
Adurogboye said that airlines should ensure that they had onboard valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution kits and Emergency Medical kits in line with Nig. CARs 184.108.40.206.
He said that they were 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 the authority in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight,” he said.
He said that NCAA would continue to collaborate with all relevant agencies to ensure that the Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan (PHECP), developed for the guidance of aviation stakeholders were adhered to.
He said that these steps would prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through Nigeria’s air borders, especially the airports.