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News Update: Nigeria Suspends Gambian National Airline Over Ebola Virus

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Nigeria has suspended the Gambian national airline from flying into the country, alleging “unsatisfactory” measures by the airline to contain the spread of Ebola virus, officials said on Sunday.

The “NCAA (Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority) has reviewed the measures put in place by your airline as contained in your letter of 30th July, 2014 and have found these measures unsatisfactory,” NCAA said in a letter to Gambia Bird Airlines.

“Consequently, your flights into Nigeria have been temporarily suspended with immediate effect until such a time that you are able to put in place acceptable and satisfactory measures,” said the letter, a copy of which was sent to AFP.

The contents of the airline’s letter to the NCAA were not disclosed.

NCAA is the government agency that serves as watchdog for all airlines operating in the country.

The Gambian national carrier flies to Lagos twice weekly. It also flies to other African countries in the region: Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Senegal.

NCAA said that part of its efforts to curb the spread of the virus was to to direct all airlines operating into Nigeria from Guinea, Freetown and Monrovia “to put in place adequate measures to ensure that passengers with this disease are not boarded and brought into the country.”

“Such measures may include suspension of flights into these countries,” NCAA added.

An American Liberian who arrived Lagos from Monrovia, capital of Liberia, via Lome (Togo), eventually died of Ebola virus in a Lagos hospital last July 25.

A Nigerian nurse who had contact with the Liberian also died last week while seven others have been confirmed to have the virus in Lagos.

Nigeria along with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the hardest hit countries by the epidemic, which the WHO has called the worst in four decades. Nearly 1,000 people have died of the virus in these four countries, WHO said.

Nigeria’s president on Friday declared a national emergency over the deadly Ebola virus.

Culled from http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/

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Nigeria suspends airline for bringing Ebola victim into country

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The Nigerian government has suspended all ASky Airline flight operations to Nigeria over the transportation of an Ebola virus victim into the country.

Benedict Adeyileka, acting director-general of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced the decision in a statement in Lagos, the nation’s economic hub.

The west African nation regulatory authority had to take the action to protect Nigerians from the deadly Ebola virus, currently ravaging some parts of Africa, the director general said.

ASky Airline is an important player in East, West and Central Africa, operating 80 flights into Lagos and Abuja weekly.

The airline last week flew a Liberian infected with Ebola virus into Lagos, where he died.

Adeyileka said the Country Manager of ASky had been invited to explain issues relating to the trip but that he could not offer any conclusive or substantial evidence on the matter.

According to him, the airline manager did not demonstrate any capacity to be able to prevent a reoccurrence or possible transportation of Ebola victims into Nigeria.

This is contrary to 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.”

Also of typhus, smallpox, yellow fever, plague and such other communicable diseases as the contracting state shall from time to time decide to designate.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has similarly prescribed measures 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 Nigerian official added that the lives of millions of Nigerians were too precious to be risked on the platter of negligence of an airline.

Adeyileka directed the Directorate of Air Transport Regulation to proceed to write a letter of investigation to the airline.

He said the agency would also write to other airlines operating into and out of Nigeria to ensure they put in place all necessary preventive measures during screening of passengers.

Source: ecns.cn , www.eturbonews.com
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