Breaking : NCAA issues alert to airlines over Corona Virus

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has put airlines operating into and out of Nigeria ,  Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and Aerodrome Operators on alert over the outbreak of Corona Virus.

Its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said the regulator took the steps to inform aviation stakeholders on the effects of the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan City , Hubei Province in China.

Adurogboye listed the clinical signs and symptoms of the virus are mainly fever and difficulty in breathing, Coughing and sneezing.

He said  the virus has spread to other countries including Thailand, Republic of Korea, United States and Japan.

In a letter dated January 23,  2020 and signed by the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Sidi Abdullahi  called for a high level of vigilance by Airlines , especially those operating international and regional flights all designated point of entries (POEs) and travelling public.

In the letter sent to airlines operators , the NCAA said they are required to take a raft of measures.

According to Captain Abdullahi Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft are to report to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected cases of communicable disease onboard an aircraft in line with Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR).

He said :” In case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, the aircrew are to fill the aircraft General Declaration  in line with NCAR  and Annex 8 of International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

“Completed aircraft General Declaration are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) on arrival at the designated point of entry.

“Sick passengers on board an aircraft are to be required by the crew to fill a Passenger Locator form in line with NCAR.

“The completed Passenger Locator Forms are to be submitted to Port Health Services (PHS) on arrival at the designated point of entry.

“Airlines are to have onboard the appropriate number of First Aid Kits, Universal Precaution kits and Emergency Medical kits according to the provisions of NCAR.”

The NCAA has mandated Airlines to update the knowledge of their crew members in the handling of communicable disease on board an aircraft.

Captain Abdullahi :” Cabin crew should follow the operational procedures recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and their airlines’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in handling possible cases of communicable diseases on board an aircraft.

“They are to ensure that passengers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection exercises cough etiquette maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues and wash hands thoroughly

“Passengers should be encouraged by the crew to self-report if they feel ill.

“Airlines are to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country.

“Designated Points of Entries are to ensure stakeholders collaboration in the handling of a suspected case of communicable disease in line with their respective Public Health Emergency Contigency Plans (PHECPs).

“Routine measures, train staff, provide appropriate space, stockpiling of adequate equipment including Personal Protective Equipment should be in place at Points of Entries for assessing and managing ill travellers detected before travel, on board aircraft and on arrival.

“Procedures and means are in place for communicating information on ill travellers between aircraft and point of entries as well as between POEs and National Health Authorities.

” Safe transportation of symptomatic passengers to hospitals or designated facilities for clinical assessment and treatment is organised.

“Airlines and POEs are to report to the Authority in writing any suspected case of communicable disease observed in flight or at any Point of Entry (POE) – International Airport.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) therefore expects strict compliance to the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) as enumerated above. However, failure to adhere to these guidelines will be viewed seriously by the Authority.”

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