Coronavirus: We Are On Red Alert--- Quarantine Service      

Even as China is grappling with an outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, that has spread to not less than 17 countries including Cote d Voire in West Africa, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has assured that, all hands are on deck to ensure that the deadly disease does not penetrate into the country.

Speaking exclusively to Shipping Position Daily correspondent the head Media, Communications and Strategies for the service; Dr. Dr. Chigozie Nwodo said the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service is collaborating with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that there is no gap or breach on the veterinary quarantine front at the airports. 

He said the World Health Organization has described the outbreak as an emergency in China, but stopped short of declaring it a public health emergency of global concern because the death toll had yet to meet the threshold.

He however said notwithstanding, at every point of entry for all agricultural quarantine activities in Nigeria; NAQS is obligated to buffer the nation from the potential introduction of this high-risk virus, adding that officers are on guard.

According to him, “the World Health Organization has described this outbreak as an emergency for Chin,a but stopped short of declaring it a public health emergency of global concern because the death toll had yet to meet the threshold.”

“It is important to know that Coronaviruses (CoV) are zoonotic, meaning that they are cross-transmittable between human beings and animals. 

“According to WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath. In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, server acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Hence, CoV represent an equal opportunity danger to human life and the agricultural sector with a single case of introduction will have potentially broad and prolific ramifications. 

“So bearing in mind the zoonotic nature of the virus, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service is collaborating with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that there is no gap or breach on the veterinary quarantine front at the airports. 

“FAAN has issued travel advisory, admonishing passengers to submit themselves to standard quarantine formalities. 

“As the single point of command for all agricultural quarantine activities in Nigeria, NAQS is obligated to buffer the nation from the potential introduction of this high-risk virus. The stakes are high. Therefore, officers are on their professional guard. 

“Consequently, all NAQS officers stationed at all ports of entry have heightened their alertness to make certain that procedural quarantine inspection is performed stringently, diligently and rigorously. There can be no exception or exemption.”.

“The general public is therefore advised to report any case related to the above to quarantine posts in their locality or the agriculture department in their local government council”, he added.

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