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Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days – NCAA declares

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Airports Reopen Captain Musa Nuhu NCAA

Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days – NCAA declares

The director-general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said major airports in the country would in the next few days reopen after weeks of inactivity caused by the novel Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Source gathered that the airports to  to be reopened are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Airport, Choba, Rivers state.

The Nation reports that Nuhu stated this at a virtual event organized by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) titled COVID-19: The challenges and opportunity for Nigeria’s aviation value chain, during and post.

The federal government had on March 16, placed a travel ban on 13 countries, including China, the United States, and Italy that had recorded over 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

According to the report, on March 13, the federal government shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks.

Nuhu said the NCAA worked with representatives of airlines and ground handling companies before forwarding a proposal to the minister of aviation for approval. The NCAA boss said: “We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we hope to expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up. “Every money is important and we cannot achieve the two-meter physical distance. We are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve those issues and allow the airlines to commence operations.

“We have made our suggestion and recommendations and we are awaiting feedback from the ministry of aviation.” Nuhu said air transport must be safe and not become part of the ways of spreading coronavirus.

He stated that physical distancing was an issue as discussions were still on leaving the middle seats in an aircraft vacant.

NCAA has, however, released COVID-19 protocols as approved by the federal ministry of health for the aviation industry. The protocols are for Nigeria-based crew operating international flights. The crew members are now required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of their flights. Nuhu, who announced the approval of the new protocols in a letter to airline operators, airports, and other service providers, added that the crew members would not be quarantined but would undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at the expense of their employers.

According to the letter, the new protocols replace the current practice where Nigeria- based international flight crew members are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.

He added that in the new protocols, the airliners must ensure among others, orientation and sensitization of their crew on Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) measures.

The protocols also state that airlines must have adequate stock of PPE, a minimum 70 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) onboard every aircraft.

The letter read in part: “Onboard the flight crew will request passengers wash their hands after using the lavatory, apply the disinfectant spray in lavatory every 60 minutes during the flight and maintain a safe distance between passengers and themselves; avoid direct physical contact and serve only pre-packed meals to passengers.

“Flight deck crew must wear non-medical face masks and gloves but can remove face masks when the cockpit door is closed.

SOURCE had previously reported that the federal government evacuated 292 who were stranded in Saudi Arabia due to the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was reported that the flight conveying the evacuees arrived in Nigeria on the night of Tuesday, May 19, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

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First Batch of Fleeing Nigerians Arrive from Ukraine

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No fewer than 427 Nigerians based in Ukraine arrived Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday Morning.

 

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They arrived en route Romania via Max Air.

This is according to an update by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) on its Twitter handle.

The passengers, numbering over 400 from Romania, landed at the private jet terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by 7:10 am (WAT) via a Max Air flight on Friday. They are mostly students who fled Ukraine to Romania following Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European country.

They were reportedly received by government officials and are expected to undergo documentation after which they will head home and self-isolate in line with the COVID-19 protocols. The Federal Government said they will be given some money to enable them to get to their destinations.

Friday’s flight, which was billed to arrive a day earlier, was delayed as the Federal Government cited a hitch in preparing passengers for the check-in process.

Asides Romania, the pickup flights will evacuate Nigerians from Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier said about 5, 000 Nigerians are eligible for evacuation from the warring region. The country will spend $8.5m on the exercise.

Other flights are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days as nations battle to evacuate their citizens.

Already, several African countries had moved their citizens, mainly students, from the conflict zone. Ghana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa were among the first set of nations to evacuate their citizens amid reports of racism by Ukrainian and Polish officials at the border posts.

 

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FG approves $8.5 Million for Evacuation of Nigerians in Ukraine

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The federal government has approved $8.5m dollars to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian, Disaster Management, and Social Development, towards the evacuation of over 5,000 (registered and unregistered) Nigerians stranded in Ukraine.

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Zubairu Dada the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, made the disclosure on Wednesday, noting that three aircraft would be dispatched to four countries.

Dada noted that the pickup flights would be headed to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. Two flights from Air Peace and one from Max Air are expected to carry out the evacuation exercise.

He assured that all agencies are fully resourced to ensure that aircraft leave on Wednesday to begin the evacuation. He informed that the flights will embark on a number of shifts until the process is complete.

 

Read Also: FG EVACUATES 241 NIGERIANS FROM CHINA

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FG to Begin Evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine Tomorrow

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The federal government said the first batch of air-lifting of Nigerian citizens trapped in the war-torn Ukraine is now scheduled to take place Wednesday March 2.

 

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Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House, stated this on Monday during a meeting with Geoffery Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja,
The evacuation, earlier planned for Monday, was rescheduled for Wednesday to give enough room for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the House of Representatives and the Nigerian foreign missions in Ukraine, Poland and Russia to complete the formalities of moving Nigerians from inside Ukraine to safe borders with neighboring countries.
The House of representative vowed to give every needed support to the ministry to kick-start the evacuation.

 

Read Also: Nigeria Urges Citizens in Ukraine to Protect Themselves

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