The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria says it has started the screening of passengers (in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health) arriving in the country through the airports following the outbreak of coronavirus in China.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, told our correspondent that the temperature and statistics of passengers were being taken as they arrived at the airports through body scanners.
She stated that it was part of efforts to protect passengers from the epidemic ravaging some countries and to prevent the spread of such communicable disease into Nigeria.
Yakubu said the thermal scanners at the airports had been programmed to monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures.
She said, “All passengers arriving in Nigeria through the airports are being screened, some without even knowing. The Port Health has the equipment.
“Ours is to make sure they are in use by ensuring the adequacy of the facilities to prevent the importation of the virus through the airports.
“Those scanners have remained permanent fixtures at our airports after the outbreak of Ebola virus few years ago. All the equipment and personnel used in combating the deadly Ebola virus in 2014 are still very much in place at the airports.”
A deadly virus known as coronavirus recently broke out in China and has been reported to have killed at least nine people with hundreds of other people infected.
The virus which is said to be highly communicable is also reported to have already spread to border countries such as Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
Yakubu said passengers and other airport users should comply with all quarantine procedures at the nation’s airports as they could be called aside for observation at any time.
“When passengers walk pass the scanner, it registers their temperature and if it is too high, they are pulled aside for observation. Passengers are therefore advised to submit themselves for routine quarantine checks whenever they are asked to,” she said.
A source at the Port Health, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The PUNCH that health officials were being trained in an exercise which commenced on Wednesday and was expected to continue till the coming week.