Despite positive PCR test results, travellers besiege airports for flights

  • Infected people roam about instead of isolation-FAAN cries out
The Federal Airports of Nigeria (FAAN) has frowned at passengers who still turn up for flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and other airports despite testing positive for COVID-19.

The passengers even with PCR test results that show that they are positive for the virus are said to want to fly. Airlines are said to be turning them back in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) laid down protocol for all traveling passengers.

Aviation Metric learnt that airlines are scrutinizing many of the PCR test results as many of them do not want to risk grounding and or fines for picking confirmed passengers with the deadly virus.

The aviation regulatory body had on October 8th, 2021 had issued a notification to all airlines stating that airlines that flout the newly revised COVID-19 Provisional Quarantine protocols will pay a penalty of $3,500 per passenger for non-compliance with the requirements while there may be an outright ban.

Airport Manager, Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Mrs. Victoria shin-Aba raised the concern while speaking to journalists in Lagos.

Shin-Aba who also doubles as the Regional Manager, South West Airports said, this was a major challenge for them and the Port Health Services as such ones are educated on the implications of the test results and coming to the airport before they are turned back.

She said it was sad that despite warnings that persons who tested positive for Covid-19 should isolate, stay indoors for their treatment were seen roaming around in public places and interacting with others.

Shin-Aba disclosed that they were always in contact with the Port Health Services and had held meetings regarding the matter.

 

Huge number of passengers turn up for unavailable flights

“People with positive COVID test still come to the Airport to board.  I don’t know for whatever reason. They know with this they can’t travel but they still bring it but definitely, they are not allowed to travel”.

The MMIA Manager stressed that, on a daily basis, FAAN personnel ensures compliance of passengers to the COVID-19 protocols enforcing the use of facemask, sanitizers were in place for use by passengers, adding that with the Omicron variant, the spread should be stopped by all means.

“We have to ensure that both passengers and staff obey and comply with protocols”.

On other facilities at the airport, Shin-Aba noted that the era of the power outage was now a thing of the past as heavy-duty generators have been purchased and installed including Universal Power Systems, UPS  to sustain power before the generators are switched on.

In addition, she revealed that recently scanning machines were installed on both sides of the screening points at both the arrival and departure.

She expressed delight that passengers traffic had increased tremendously since last week, noting that that the current facilities at the terminal were being overstretched as a result of long usage, and expressed the hope that it would soon be over when the new terminal was inaugurated.

 “The terminal was built for the capacity of “two million passengers but as we speak, we do have ten million passengers, definitely it is well overstretched and we still do our best for passengers comfort but the challenge is the cooling system but we are still working on them”.

As regards vehicular movements, she said, the new system of parking had greatly helped decongest the environment of illegal parking and now the terminal had more capacity to accommodate people and vehicles at the front of the terminal.

Shin Aba assured passengers of a problem-free yuletide and better experience.

Wole Shadare

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