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Sirika tasks aviation stakeholders on safeguarding Nigerians against deadly diseases

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Minister of Humanitarian and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Faruq (left); her Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; and Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during their visit to observe the screening of passengers following the outbreak of Coronavirus in China at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA


• Nigeria has capacity to contain Coronavirus, minister, college insist
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has implored stakeholders in the aviation and port health services sectors to close ranks in safeguarding Nigerians and ensuring that the Coronavirus and other deadly diseases are not imported into the country.

This comes as his Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed, assured Nigerians of government’s capacity to fight the scourge.Both spoke at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after observing the screening of incoming passengers in view of the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

Sirika observed that though there is no direct fight from Nigeria to the Asian nation, he, however, pointed out that quite a number of passengers from Nigeria transit through other airports where they are expected to have taken certain measures to prevent and detect the virus, adding that the most populous black nation could not just rely on the screening they had undergone in those countries.

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He disclosed that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was monitoring developments and implementing other preventive measures to improve symptom awareness among travellers and airport workers as well as improve environmental and personal hygiene within the gateway and its host community.

According to the minister, continued preparedness and response training on infection prevention and control are being organised for frontline airport workers while provision of basic and advanced personal protective clothing equipment, PPC/PPE to frontline staff are also in place. Sirika ordered that every passenger coming into the country must present yellow card or be vaccinated against yellow fever free of charge, just as he or she would pay N2000 Naira to get the card.

Remarking, Mohammed stated: “Nigerians should have confidence in our ability to fight the virus.”Also yesterday, the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) insisted that Nigeria had the capacity to contain any unforeseen outbreak of the disease.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on the planned induction of fellows and the 2020 annual congress of the college holding from February 21-23, Chairman of the Steering Board of WAPCMLS, Dr. Godswill Okara, harped on the development of a regional and global professional capacity network to prevent and combat the adverse effects of communicable and non-communicable diseases threatening humanity.

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