1 Aug 2014

Nigeria begins Ebola Virus screening at airports

Nigeria has begun the screening of passengers entering the country through the airports.

The World Health organisation (WHO) announced yesterday that the death toll from Ebola has topped 700 worldwide.

Workers from various agencies operating at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were yesterday sensitised by Port Health officials on the dangers posed by the virus and how to prevent its spread.

The awareness campaign was to complement other measures already put in place by Port Health at the international airports to prevent the presence and spread of the virus in the country.

Federal Ministry of Health’s Port Service Director Sani Gwarzo urged Aviation stakeholders to be abreast of the dangers posed by the virus.

Port Health officials have been deployed in Lagos and Abuja airports’ arrival halls to test passengers for symptoms of Ebola.

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said yesterday that it had started temperature screening passengers arriving from places at risk of Ebola. It has suspended pan-African airline ASky for bringing the first case to Lagos.
“Screening and monitoring is being done at all major international airports. It entails checking passengers’ temperature with a hand-held machine,” NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye said, adding this meant for any journey that passed through Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone. A compulsory blood test would follow if a passenger’s temperature gives cause for concern, he said.
International airlines association IATA said WHO was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures due to the outbreak, and says there would be a low risk to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

A holding area has been provided at the tarmac for suspected cases while index cases are expected to be isolated in a designated area outside the airport for further examination and treatment.

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