The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has donated 20 ventilators and the sum of N50 million to fight the Covid19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The ventilators are equipment that assist patients in breathing, a process sometimes referred to as artificial respiration, which are basically needed at this time to help fight the disease.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who made this known in Lagos, said N30million out of the N50million donation by the agency would be disbursed to the Federal Government Committee on COVID-19 intervention and N20 million to the Lagos State Government to aid its effort to control the spread of the virus.
He said NIMASA has also volunteered its six fast intervention vessels to be committed to facilitate transport logistics support in the maritime sector, just as volunteers from the agency will be deployed to join first responders from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos and other states in managing the spread of the pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic is upon humanity. It came suddenly upon a virtually unprepared world, and demands drastic actions from all and sundry to contain the virus and salvage our common humanity. We are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on the socio-economic life of the country, especially at a time NIMASA, Nigeria’s maritime industry regulator, is driving a blue economy campaign to make maritime a key part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic diversification agenda,” a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi quoted Jamoh as saying.
Jamoh said the agency also volunteered four fully equipped ambulances, four Hilux trucks and four 36 seater coaster buses to support and facilitate land based logistics in the Federal capital Territory, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Kaduna States.
Other medical equipment the agency donated to enhance the fight against the COVID-19 in Nigeria include, 60 beds, 20 Patient ICU monitors, 20 oxygen concentrator, 10 infusion pumps, 10 syringe pump, 20 oxygen-giving sets, 10 suction machines and 100 set of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“This is our little contribution to aid the robust efforts of the Federal and State governments to fight the virus. It is our token of love, concern for Nigerians and a gesture of appreciation to the authorities’ proactive measures in this collective fight against a common enemy,” Jamoh added.
Nigeria has 111 confirmed cases of the covid-19 infection with one fatality. Global coronavirus cases as at 12midnight stood a 720,381 with 33,906 deaths. 150,918 people have also recovered from the virus globally.
Agency issues guidelines to ships
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has banned all vessels without thermal screening facilities from operating in Nigerian waters
NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said in a statement on Sunday that the agency has also advised all shipping companies and maritime stakeholders to follow safety advice provided by United Nations agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to him, the outbreak has necessitated stringent measures that can help curb the spread while not totally grounding the Nigerian economy.
“These are trying times and we must pull through together, that is why we have directed that all maritime stakeholders develop risk assessments and safety intervention guidelines for their personnel and operations on the areas of vulnerabilities of their maritime operations that can be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic including but not limited to offshore operations such as crew/personnel changes, visits from onshore and other locations for provision of supplies, maintenance and repairs etc” Jamoh stated.
He also disclosed that the agency would be coming up with the publication that would elaborate on the guidance which also includes schedule for ongoing offshore operations requiring new crew or crew changes from affected countries to ensure that pre-departure tests for COVID 19 are conducted on such persons, and self-isolation procedures for the prescribed period are instituted for such new crew/personnel before exposure to other personnel.
Dr. Jamoh also pointed out that “only international marine vessels that had planned and informed of their call to a Nigerian ports not later than 1st February, 2020 may be allowed to call on such port, adding that any international marine vessel or any member of its crew or passenger therein having a travel history of visiting any of the COVID-19 affected countries since 1st Feb, 2020; shall not be permitted to enter any Nigerian port from 30th March, 2020 till 12th of April, 2020. And any further dates as may be reviewed from time to time”.
“Additionally, only international marine vessel having thermal screening facilities for passenger and crew may be allowed on the ports and that shipping agent/master of vessels must submit all documents related to crew and passengers regarding their travel to or from the COVID-19 affected countries,” he said.
The NIMASA DG also pointed out that it was important for all passengers and crew members to fill the self-reporting form as prescribed by Port Health Service, adding that Port Health Officers shall carry out thermal screening of all the passengers and crew members on board ship and until clearance is given, no passengers and or crew members would be allowed ashore.
It would be recalled that in the fight against the deadly COVID-19, NIMASA recently donated 20 ventilators as well as six fast intervention vessels to facilitate transport logistics support in the maritime sector.
The agency also donated four fully equipped ambulances, four Hilux and four 36 sitter coaster buses to facilitate land based logistics in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Kaduna States along with cash donations to some of the states that have reported cases of the pandemic.