By Ambrose Obioma Okehi
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commenced the process of diverting any vessel suspected to have contacted or suspected to have been infected by the much-talked-about Corona Virus. This is because the agency has actually said that it will know that by any vessel carrying yellow flags which would surely be diverted to a special location for health assessment before anyone or cargo will be allowed to disembark from it.
Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman
The Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, made this disclosure when she was speaking to newsmen during a book presentation in Lagos recently.
The Managing Director (Hadiza) who took a swift reaction to various allegations making round over the issues of Corona virus, assuring that the agency has put in place necessary protocols at the ports as standard measures to safeguard against the dreaded Coronavirus disease.
The NPA boss further said: “once a vessel carrying yellow flag is sighted by the harbor master, port health will be immediately notified.
Explaining more about the reason for the quarantining of the suspected vessels, Hadiza said that the presence of yellow flag on a vessel is historically and is a sign displayed only on ships suspected and just to indicate the presence of disease on it and must be quarantined.
She said: “Once port health is notified, the vessel will be taken to a separate location where there will be immediate health assessment before anyone or cargo will be allowed to disembark,” she said.
As an agency of that is the gateway of the nation that must be conscious of its actions and inactions as concern international vessels and their crew entering the country, that NPA and its management must be very conscious of the virus and had been in several interactions with the Federal Ministry of Health.
Based on her capacity as the helmsman of the authority, she promised that her organization would continue to monitor the inflow of people from the waterfront as the gateway of the nation while enlightening people and educating them on the development as far as seriousness of this Corona Virus is concerned.
“NPA is very mindful of its responsibility as the gateway to the nation’s economy and will do everything possible to protect the economy,” she said.
The managing director said that visitors and staff were also checked at the gate of the NPA office complex to ensure they were free from any form of illness.