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11 Jul 2020 | 10:21 PM UTC

Nigeria: Port Harcourt International Airport resumes operations from July 11 /update 33

Port Harcourt International Airport resumes operations halted amid COVID-19 from July 11; confirm travel itineraries

Entrée/sortie
Santé
transport
NGA

Event

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced on Saturday, July 11, that the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) has resumed operations following a three-month suspension amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic. Social distancing markings will be placed at every 1.5m (4.9ft) interval in expected queueing areas to ensure minimal risk of transmission. The first arrival was an Air Peace flight from Lagos. 

Previously, the reopening of domestic flights began on Wednesday, July 8 for airports in Abuja and Lagos. The remainder of Nigeria's airports are expected to be allowed to resume domestic flights from Wednesday, July 15.

On July 1, authorities began easing COVID-19 restrictions, however, a nationwide curfew between 22:00 to 04:00 (local time) remains in place. Inter-state travel has also reopened. Bus transportation has resumed, however, rail service will remain closed until health guidelines are in place. Schools will also reopen for students in their final year in order for them to prepare for exams. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 20 people and sporting events are still in force. The mandatory wearing of facemasks also remains in place.

As of Sunday, July 12, health authorities have confirmed 31,987 COVID-19 cases and 724 associated deaths in Nigeria. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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