Six cases of the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) have been found on an offshore supply vessel, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has clarified.
NPA spokesman, Adams Jatto, who made the clarification on Friday, said, “The NCDC has now clarified that these cases were discovered on an oil rig, Siem Marlin on the high sea, offshore Lagos and accessed by the Lagos State Government and the NCDC by helicopter. Maritime stakeholders would not have been so apprehensive if it was clear that the passengers were on a rig.
Siem Marlin (IMO: 9408994) is a supply vessel built in 2009 and is sailing under the flag of Nigeria. The vessel is operated by Lagos-based Marine Platforms Limited.
“This clarification has renewed the confidence of stakeholders in the effectiveness of the processes put in place, which remains the principal objective of the Authority. Given the fact that the maritime industry is central to the management of the pandemic worldwide, the Nigerian Ports Authority is committed to working with all other agencies of government to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.”
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had said on Thursday night that six of the 14 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed on Thursday were detected on a vessel in Lagos.
However, NPA, through its official twitter handle on Friday morning, said the authority in collaboration with the Port Health Services had not recorded any cases till date.
The NPA urged the NCDC to avail both port agencies with details of the vessel, the passengers on board and the terminal or jetty where they berthed.
NPA tweets, “Hello @NCDC.gov. In respect to the six new cases that ‘were detected on a vessel in Lagos’, the Authority in collaboration with Port Health has not recorded has not recorded any confirmed cases to date.
“To enable verification and proper record keeping, kindly avail us with specific details on the name of the vessel and the passengers that were on board and the terminal or jetty where they berthed.”
In a related development, NPA said it has concluded discussion with its shareholders and have agreed to donate the 130-bed fully furnished Agura Hotels, Abuja, to serve as isolation centre for COVID-19 patients in the Federal Capital Territory.
The agency said the gesture is a social responsibility initiative aimed at supporting efforts of the Federal Government to contain the spread of the virus in Nigeria.