- January 23, 2020
- Posted by: FAAN
- Categories: News, Press Releases
AIRPORT COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BULLETIN
Transmission of Communicable Diseases
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: NCAA ISSUES GENERAL GUIDELINES ON HOW TO HANDLE SUSPECTED CASES
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has 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 putting them on high alert over the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The NCAA in a letter dated 23rd January, 2020 and signed by the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Sidi Abdullahi with reference number NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol. 1. /30 put all Airline Operators, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and Aerodrome Operators on alert.
In the 9-point letter sent to the airlines, all operators are therefore required to carry out the following:
“Pilots in Command (PIC) of aircraft are to report to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected cases of communicable disease on board an aircraft in line with Nig. CARs 18.104.22.168;
“In case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, the aircrew are to fill the aircraft General Declaration (Gen Dec) in line with Nig. CARs 22.214.171.124 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 Nig.CARs 126.96.36.199. 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 Nig.CARs 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
“Airlines are to update the knowledge of their crew members in the handling of communicable disease on board an aircraft.
“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 (i) stakeholders collaboration in the handling of a suspected case of communicable disease in line with their respective Public Health Emergency Contingency Plans (PHECPs), (ii) 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,(iii) 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 (iv) 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.
“All aviation stakeholders are to note that, the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) broke out in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China recently.
The clinical signs and symptoms of the virus are mainly fever and difficulty in breathing (Coughing, sneezing etc.) Presently the virus has spread to other countries including Thailand, Republic of Korea, United States of America (USA) and Japan.
UPDATE FROM Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
22nd January 2020| PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY TO NIGERIANS ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
This is a public health advisory on a new virus; the novel coronavirus (nCoV), by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. As this is a new virus, and new information is emerging every day, this advisory will be updated as new information and research on the virus and its impact on populations become available.
The first case of a novel (new) coronavirus strain (2019nCoV) was confirmed in China on the 7th of January, 2020. According to preliminary investigations, most patients either visited or worked in the Huanan Seafood wholesale market, Wuhan city. As at the 20th of January, 2020, 278 laboratory-confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV infection including six deaths have been reported to WHO globally since the first case was reported on the 31st of December 2019. Many of the initial cases were thought to have contracted the virus through animal-to-human transmission from the market, but human-to-human transmission has also been established. Global surveillance is being established and it is expected that more cases will be reported over the next weeks.
Wuhan city is a major transport hub in China. Beyond Wuhan, cases have been confirmed in other cities in China; Guangdong, Beijing and Shanghai. As at the 21st of January, five cases have been confirmed in four other countries: Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States of America, all with a travel history to China.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans. Some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household or health care setting. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has convened its Emergency Committee today (22/01/20) to determine whether this outbreak should be declared a “Public Health Event of International Concern” (PHEIC).
This new coronavirus, 2019nCoV, appears to cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like cough and breathing difficulties. From current evidence, it appears that death is a rare outcome, and occurs mostly in patients with underlying illness.
There is no specific treatment for disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.
Nigeria’s preparedness and response
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. NCDC is in close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) who is closely monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the Government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.
The Port Health Services unit of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria has been placed on alert and has heightened screening measures at the points of entry. In China, exit screening measures have been enhanced for travellers from Wuhan city at the Points of Entry (PoE) (airports and ground transport stations) since the 14th of January, 2020. This includes temperature checks combined with provision of information and masks to passengers with fever, as well as directing symptomatic passengers to health facilities for follow up.
Nigerians are advised to remain calm. Travelers from Nigeria to Wuhan, China, are advised to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets. Travelers from Wuhan to Nigeria, may be asked questions upon arrival by the Port Health Services unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to NCDC if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.
The Federal Ministry of Health through NCDC and its partners are fully committed to strengthening our preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks. Information will be shared with the public as it becomes available.
How to protect yourself
To reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following measures:
• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.
• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
• Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history.
As the situation is evolving, this advisory will be updated as more information becomes available.
January 21, 2020
FAAN TRAVEL ADVSISORY
In an effort to protect passengers from the epidemic ravaging some countries and to prevent the spread of such communicable diseases into Nigeria, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria hereby advises passengers and other airport users to comply with all quarantine procedures at the nation’s airports.
All the equipment and personnel used in combating the deadly ebola virus in 2014 are still very much in place at the airports.
FAAN has always had thermal scanners in her airports that monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures. When passengers walk pass the scanner, it registers their temperature and If too high, they are pulled aside for observation.
Recently, a deadly virus known as CORONAVIRUS broke out in China and has since killed six people, with over 300 also reported to have been infected. The virus is highly communicable and has already spread to boarder countries like Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
The Authority, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, have confirmed the adequacy of the facilities at the nation’s airports to prevent the importation of the virus through the airports.
Passengers are therefore advised to submit themselves for routine quarantine checks whenever they are asked to.
FAAN…. Committed to her core values of Safety, Security and Comfort.
Henrietta Yakubu (Mrs.)
General Manager, Corporate Affairs