Skip to comments.Nigeria: Ebola - Nigerian Travellers Commend NCAA, Arik Over Quick Response
Posted on 08/01/2014 10:35:22 AM PDT by EBH
Nigerian air travellers have commended the decision of the nation's major carrier, Arik Air and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ban operations to the Ebola endemic countries in West Africa.
Arik Air last Sunday announced it has stopped operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone, two countries where the dreaded disease is endemic and in a swift reaction last Monday, NCAA stopped the operations of Asky Airlines to Nigeria, the airline that brought the first victim of the disease into the country.
Explaining why Asky had to be stopped, the acting Director-General of NCAA, Benedict Adeyileka, said the regulatory authority has to take this action to protect Nigerians from the deadly Ebola virus which is ravaging some parts of West and Central Africa.
Last week a Liberian American man, Patrick Sawyer, 40, who arrived in Lagos with the airline through Lome, was the first case of the disease in Nigeria. He died few days after his arrival into the country.
Asky Airline, which started four years ago, is a subsidiary of Ethiopian Airlines and operates to 22 destinations in West and Central Africa.
The Airline flew the Liberian, who was obviously infected with the virus, into Lagos, an incident that has created panic and diverted world attention to Nigeria.
NCAA explained that the Country Manager of the airline invited by the authority to offer explanation on the incident and show evidence of actions taken by the airline to prevent such from happening again did not convince the Authority that it has taken drastic actions to prevent airlifting passengers infected with the disease.
NCAA supported its action of banning the airline with the provision of Article 14 of the Chicago Convention, 1944, which states that "each contracting State agrees to take effective measures to prevent the spread by means of air navigation, of cholera, typhus (epidemic), smallpox, yellow fever, plague and such other communicable diseases as the contracting state shall from time to time decide to designate."
NCAA also said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has similarly prescribed measures (Standard Practices) in Annex 9 to the Convention which a state must take to prevent the spread of communicable disease in the event of an outbreak.
The acting Director-General and the top management of NCAA therefore decided that the lives of millions of Nigerians "were too precious to be risked on a platter of negligence of an airline".
The airline's operations were therefore suspended with immediate effect until it was able to sufficiently and evidently prove that adequate machinery has been put in place to provide adequate screening of passengers in all their points of operation including profiling of each passenger.
But reacting to the suspension, the Director-General of Asky Airlines, Yissehak Zewoldi, said the travelling restriction was seriously affecting passengers within the region and urged NCAA to reconsider its position on suspending the airline's operations into Nigeria.
He said the airline had taken measures to avoid further airlifting of any passengers infected with the disease, adding that he had written to the Director General of NCAA twice on the measures taken by his airline so far and his full commitment to closely work with all authorities, governments and organisations in the fight against the spread of this disease.
Zewoldi said Asky was determined to keep its passengers and staff safe and assured the airline was following the situation closely and would issue updates as the situation changes.
"Asky is Considered to be the biggest carrier with a very large network within the West and Central Africa region, the carrier has constantly followed up all developments in collaboration with airport authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministries of Health and the Civil aviation to implement collective preventive measures against the spread of this deadly disease - Ebola in suspected areas," he said.
Zewoldi said Asky has stopped the airlifting of food from these countries; stopped overnight crew; reinforced aircraft disinfection and strictly adhered to the use of sanitary items such as gloves, antiseptic liquids.
While announcing the suspension of its flights to Monrovia (Liberia) and Freetown (Sierra Leone), Arik Air said it was doing so as a result of the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos, and involving a Liberian (American) national who flew on a foreign (Non-Nigerian) regional based airline from Monrovia via Lome (Togo) into the city last week.
"Arik Air is taking this important step as a concerned corporate citizen bearing the interest of Nigerians at heart. We acknowledge the steps that the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently undertaking to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus; however, we feel especially compelled to take the business decision to immediately suspend flight services into the two Ebola affected countries due to our interest in the well-being of Nigerians," the airline said.
Reacting to the measures taken by the federal government, Arik and NCAA, a Nigerian who was on his way to Dubai in the indigenous carrier's flight, Elisha Onowemeakpo, said he was impressed by the urgent decision of Arik to suspend operation to the Ebola endemic countries, noting that this would ensure that people with the disease would not be brought into the country.
Idiots. The guy cleaning him is wearing short sleeves and no mask. (”Hey - it gets hot in this tent!”)
It says...DONNING... that means he is putting on gear. He is likely being sprayed with a bleach water solution prior to entry...
Now ...that latter part should scare you. Normally that would be post exposure, but they do it at both ends of the PPE spectrum...
I hear that the clown governing our nation has “ordered” two Ebola victims brought to the USA. I think that the clown, his wife, kids, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid should go down and greet the victims when they arrive. They can all demonstrate their deep concern by lavishing hugs and kisses upon the poor victims.
Oops! (Now who is the idiot!?) But yeah - the photo with the bleach spray is what threw me off. That does make sense to spray down ahead of time but does show just how nasty it is. Which of course doesn’t jive with the American talking heads saying that “Ebola is nothing to worry about here in the USA.”
Banning flights saves on having to fummigate the planes after every trip into the hot zones. Not that they would or that it would be effective but still. Might also be the crews refuse to fly there. I wouldn’t want to.