In view of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to assess the level of screening of inbound passengers.
Sanwo-Olu, who was received by the Director of Airport Operations, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Mukhtar Muye, and General Manager of Aeromedical Standards, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Wilfred Haggai, implored the airport response team not to let down the guard of operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Lagos State Government deployed 60 healthcare workers to the airport to strengthen the effort against the virus.
NAN reports that during Tuesday’s airport visit, the governor watched how passengers were being screened by the airport officials who also demonstrated measures put in place to isolate travellers that showed signs of illness.
Sanwo-Olu was conducted round the testing stations and quarantine facilities built in the airport to manage travellers with infectious diseases.
Addressing newsmen, Sanwo-Olu expressed satisfaction with the response measures and added that his visit to the airport was to have a first-hand experience of the screening process after Federal Government triggered advanced vetting of air passengers.
”This is really a working visit to the Lagos airport, which is the biggest international border of the country, in terms of number of passengers.
”We are here to personally ascertain how our officials are working in collaboration with airport authorities to isolate travellers with cases of infectious disease.
”It is no longer news that we have an index case of coronavirus, and as we speak now, we are conducting tests on a few other cases.
”What it means is that, we need to heighten our level of preparedness, monitoring and engagement. We are also here to encourage and motivate our teeming staff engaged in this difficult national assignment,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu urged the airport workers not to relax the screening process as all travellers coming into the country, regardless of status or age, must be screened.
According to him, there must be no VIP passage for anyone at the airport, as everyone must subject themselves to the screening process.
He cautioned the response team against stigmatising any passenger, who might be showing signs of infection or ailment.
”Since we are still being friendly about accommodating international travels, we need to keep up our gird and remain firm on the screening process at the airport.
”We need to ensure that we are not keeping our eyes away from anything. Everybody coming in through our air borders must be properly screened. Nobody must be spared from thorough screening,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu said his government remained committed toward the efforts being made to combat the ravaging coronavirus.
He said the state government would not hesitate to make resources available to enhance the level of preparedness towards combating the ravaging virus.
The Director of Airport Operations, (FAAN), Capt. Mukhtar Muye, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for the visit, as it would serve as a moral booster to the staff.