Nigeria begins fresh Ebola screening at its airports

Nigeria orders Ebola screening at airports

The Federal Government has stepped up efforts at major international airports to combat the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said on Thursday.

The authority said screening of out bound and inbound passengers is ongoing at major international airports, as it has activated existing surveillance equipment used for combating the deadly virus disease, which spread into Nigeria in 2014 through a Liberian named Patrick Sawyer.

FAAN’s spokesperson, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said relevant agencies including the Port Health Services have been mobilized and are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and other airport users.

Passengers on flight to West African countries are now being screened at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Though there is no direct flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo, some Nigerian carriers including Arik Air, Air Peace, Medview Airlines fly into some West and Central African countries.

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Some African carriers including Cronos Airlines, Air Cote D’ Ivoire, Asky Airlines, African World Airlines, Rwand Air, Kenyan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways operate flights into their operational hubs that link DR Congo.

“Following a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has re-assured passengers and other airport users of safety across its network of airports.

“Since the first recorded case of the virus in Nigeria, through an American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, the authority has not relaxed its surveillance at the airports to forestall any re-occurrence.

“All equipment and personnel used in combatting the virus in 2014 are still very much at the airports.

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“We have always had thermal scanners in our airports that monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures. We still have hand sanitisers in our restrooms too. When passengers walk pass the scanners, it registers their temperature. If yours is high, you are pulled aside for observation.

“Relevant agencies, including the Port Health Services have been mobilized and are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and airport users at all time,” Yakubu said.