The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, August 29, revealed that the activities of airlines operating international flights will be closely monitored to prevent the importation of coronavirus cases in the state.
This disclosure by Sanwo-Olu comes in the wake of scheduled resumption of international flights.
The governor made this known on Saturday; while briefing the press at the State House, Marina.
He also stressed that not all airlines would be allowed to operate come September 5.
He said the state government was working with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19; as well as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to perfect plans for the resumption of international flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said, “In the course of the week, I will be receiving the management of FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) in my office so that we will review and go over what they have.
“I will also be going to the airport myself to take a spot assessment in the week to ascertain the physical level of preparedness at the airport so that we will be clear; and we will all be on the same page; as well as ensure all the protocol that we need for adequate compliance are in place.
“Going by what is being worked out, there is going to be a phased in-flow of international travels; not all the airlines will be opened up at once; we are are going to be bringing them in based on a schedule per week.
“So, it is pretty much like a measured number. That way, we can actually be able to deal with it.
“Also, the times of arrivals, we will ensure that there are no crowding and backflow of issues. We are working on all these.
“We noticed that imported cases were beginning to appear again, meaning some foreigners were coming in; so, we needed to be able to track and monitor; and be sure that once we are able to manage our own internal affairs; so we do not have imported cases.
“So, the protocol for wherever they are coming from; and also in the country must be strictly adhered to; so that we don’t have imported cases,” he emphasised.
The country’s airspace and airports was shut to flight operations in March; to curb the spread of the lethal disease which as of Friday has killed over 1,000 people in Nigeria.
Essential flights such as those for evacuation and movement of medical supplies were, however, permitted; during the period before the PTF okayed the resumption of domestic flights on July 8.