The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has ordered airlines operating in Nigeria, to be on red alert, over the resurgence of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The directive, followed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of Ebola outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The NCAA, directed all operators, especially airlines operating regional and international flights into the country, to exercise a high level of vigilance.
The Spokesman of the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, stated that the directive was contained in a letter signed by the NCAA Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, to all airline operators.
In the letter, the NCAA directed airlines’ Pilots in Command (PIC), to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC), any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flight, in line with Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 184.108.40.206).
The NCAA, explained that in case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms, as required by the regulations. Thereafter, completed forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS), of the destination aerodrome, the NCAA said.
The authority also directed operators to contact Port Health Services for clearance, before importing human remains into the country, in the event of death of a patient.
“Airlines are to report to the NCAA in writing, any suspected case of communicable disease on board any flight”, the NCAA said.
Airlines were also advised to “ensure they have on board valid and appropriate number of First Aid kits, Universal Precaution Kits (UPKs), and Emergency Medical kits, in line with Nig.CARS 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.”
They were also required to refresh the knowledge of their Crew members (flight deck and cabin crew), for improved and sustained proficiency in handling and communication with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board.
The authority added that the ATCs shall immediately communicate to Port Health Services (PHS), any report of a suspected case of communicable disease on board aircraft, in line with Nig. CARs 22.214.171.124.
The NCAA, pointed out that it expects strict compliance with the directives, adding that, it will collaborate with all relevant Agencies to prevent the incursion of Ebola or any communicable disease into the country.