By Favour Nnabugwu & Luminous Jannamike
FOLLOWING the fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has re-assured passengers and other airport users of safety across its network of airports.
This came as Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole said that the Federal Government was taking adequate measures to prevent a possible health disaster in the country owing to the threats posed by the resurgence of Ebola disease in DRC.
Adewole said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had began the coordination of a national working group to assess and manage the risk posed by Ebola outbreak in the DRC to Nigeria.
“We are aware of the outbreak of Ebola in DRC following an announcement by the country on May 8, 2018. NCDC is currently coordinating a national working group that is assessing and managing the risk to Nigeria.”
“We are in close communication with our partners including the World Health Organisation, who are in Congo to monitor and respond to the situation. The Port Health services unit has been placed on red-alert and will heighten screening measures at ports of entry.
“Letters of alert have also been sent to all States to enhance surveillance activities and an advisory note for the general public. Over the last few years, we have strengthened our health security infrastructure to effectively prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases including Ebola.”
On its FAAN said that 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.
General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Authority, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, said, “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.”