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COVID-19: Port Harcourt International Airport reopens

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The Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) has restated commitment towards ensuring a zero Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission as Port Harcourt International Airport resumes operations.

Mr Abayomi Akinbinu, the Regional Manager, South-South and South-East, FAAN, said this on Saturday at the airport during the arrival of the first flight after three months of COVID-19 shutdown.

The first flight conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos arrived Port Harcourt International Airport terminal at 7.50 a.m.

Abayomi said that the Port Harcourt airport management was poised at ensuring zero chances of COVID 19 transmission as flight operations kick-starts at the airport

According to him, compliance with the COVID 19 safety guidelines by regulatory bodies in the sector has been well upheld, adding that management will give no room for default.

While commending safety compliance level by service providers and passengers at the airport, he however decried poor adherence to the physical distancing rule.

“To the best of my understanding, I think I’m satisfied with our adherence to safety tips but there could be a few protocols that we need to adjust especially in the area of adherence to physical distancing rule.

“Our markings of 1.5 metres apart are visibly on the floor, but may be because of excitement it’s not being properly followed; so we need to make quick enforcement in that regard,” he said.

On passenger turnout, Abayomi said that being the first COVID-19 flight, low passenger turnout was expected with a gradual increase in the coming days.

“On the departure section, we are gradually getting more passengers and I believe that going forward passengers’ turnout is going to increase.

“My message to prospective passengers is that the Port Harcourt International Airport terminal is safe,” he added.

Dr Nuhu Mwabi, Head of Aviation Medical Clinic of the airport  also said that the Port Health is fully on ground conducting mandatory temperature checks on both service providers and passengers before allowing them into the terminal building.

“This is because we want to fish out persons with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above, so that we can isolate such individual.

“Our cardinal objective is to ensure that we contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as other communicable diseases within the airport,” he said.

Mwabi also said that various medical teams and the WHO are also fully ready to professionally handle any suspected case where the need arises.

“We have an isolation centre right here for any person with a high temperature to be examined and if need be, we would then call for further assistance from the State Epidemiological unit,” Mwabi said.

Meanwhile, some passengers have also commended FAAN on its innovations in the COVID-19 era.

Mr Ralph Akinyemi, one of the first passengers who arrived Port Harcourt from Lagos, urged management of the airport and other regulatory bodies to maintain the tempo, which he described as commendable.


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