The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that any vessel suspected of having crew members with Coronavirus infection onboard will not be allowed to berth at the nation’s seaports.
This is even as it said that, for now, all vessels scheduled to visit Nigerian ports are being monitored globally for trace or connection to the Coronavirus disease.
Speaking to the Tribune Online exclusively, the NPA spokesman, Adams Jatto, stated that the agency is currently collaborating with the Port Health Unit at the ports to ensure the Coronavirus disease does not enter the country through the seaports.
According to Adams Jatto, “for now, we are currently sensitising the port users about the Coronavirus disease.
“Secondly, we are monitoring all vessels scheduled to visit our ports. You know ships call at various ports world over before coming over here.
“So, we know the ships that are scheduled to visit our ports, and we are monitoring them from the port of origin through all the ports that they visit before coming to our ports. If any vessel scheduled to visit our port has issues with the Coronavirus along its voyage, we will detain such vessel when it arrives our waters and we won’t allow it to berth.
“We have that arrangement with the Port Health Department. Any vessel with Coronavirus issues, once it arrives our waters, we will tag it with a yellow flag and won’t let it berth until medical officials of responsible agencies of government go onboard, evacuate and quarantine the infected crew of the vessel.”
When asked if any Coronavirus issues had come up at the seaport, the NPA Spokesman stated that, “so far, we have not recorded any issue at the ports. What we are doing now is to sensitise port users on what they need to do while inside the ports.
“Preventive materials have been brought in and placed at all entry points of our seaports nationwide, and we are putting stakeholders through on how to use them while inside the ports.”