The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called on airlines especially those operating international and regional flights into the country to exhibit a very high level of vigilance in view of the resurgence of Ebola Virus in Congo.
An online statement issued by the General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye said that the call was contained in a circular signed by the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Usman Muhtar, with ref no. NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated May 11, 2018, dispatched to all operating airlines.
NCAA in the circular informed airlines of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8, 2018.
However, the regulatory body said that the outbreak of EVD in DRC has not been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC).
It added that notwithstanding, NCAA, Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have been taken concerted steps to ensure the virus does not creep into Nigeria.
NCAA stated that to forestall the EVD infiltration, it had therefore directed all airlines to carry out these measures in the interim.
Pilots-in-Command of an aircraft, NCAA said are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight in line with Nig.CARs 220.127.116.11.
In the event 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 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 respectively.
According to NCAA completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination Aerodrome.
It also directed airlines 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 126.96.36.199.
Other directives given to airlines by NCAA include:
- Airlines 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 to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.
- Airlines to report to the Authority in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight.
NCAA stated that it 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 are adhered to, as this prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through air borders; airports.