FG, airlines perfect plans to disinfect airports, aircrafts - PUNCH
BY Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Federal Government, airline operators and airport managers have concluded arrangements for the disinfection of aircraft airports across the country.
It was gathered that the disinfection exercise should be completed before the June 21, 2020 target date for the reopening of Nigeria’s airspace to domestic commercial flight operations.
Five airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Owerri, have already been marked to commence operations from June 21.
In his response to questions at a briefing in Abuja on Thursday to mark the 2020 World Environment Day, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, said airlines, airport managers and the Federal Government had concluded arrangements to disinfect aircraft and airports.
The World Environment Day is held on June 5 every year and it is celebrated globally.
Abubakar said, “We have just concluded arrangements with the airport authorities and aircraft owners. Why it took long is because aviation is such a sensitive sector, everything must be 100 per cent in order before aviation systems can function.
“So we have concluded and they have chosen the chemicals that they think will work well and not cause any safety breach when the chemicals are applied on the aircraft and certain areas of the airports.”
Abubakar said motor parks, markets and other public places were being disinfected as well, adding that hundreds of these locations had been decontaminated.
“We are going to disinfect parks as well, because these are public places that are considered high risk areas. So for parks, train stations, markets, the ministry has disinfected hundreds of these areas across the country and it is continuing,” he said.
The minister said the disinfection of schools had been ongoing, particularly in public schools, as the ministry was currently working in all geopolitical zones.
Abubakar said, “We are waiting for additional response to accelerate the disinfection of schools. Usually the first mandate is on the public schools, but we will continue our disinfection exercise and I know of entities that hire people to disinfect their organisations.”
He, however, stressed that such entities must hire people certified by the government.
The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had made developing countries realise why they needed to upgrade their healthcare systems, adding that the outbreak of the virus had helped reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.