The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Wednesday said it 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 nation’s airports following the recent outbreak of the deadly 2019 coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) in China, and which has spread to some other countries.
It stated that as the single point of command for all agricultural quarantine activities in the country, the NAQS is obligated to buffer the nation from the potential introduction of the high-risk virus.
The agency added that FAAN had already issued a travel advisory, admonishing passengers to submit themselves to standard quarantine formalities.
“The stakes are high. Therefore, officers are on their professional guard,” the service said in a statement issued by its Head, Media Communications and Strategies, Dr. Gozie Nwodo.
The quarantine agency also noted that as a result of the development, 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, adding that there can be no exception or exemption.
It further advised the public to report any case related to the coronavirus to quarantine posts in their locality or the agriculture department in their local government councils as well as reach the service via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The statement however noted that China is currently grappling with an outbreak of the deadly virus with over 100 deaths reported and over a thousand more affected in central Hubei Province.
The statement added: “A couple of days ago, Vietnam and Singapore were added to the nations recording confirmed cases, joining Thailand, the United States of America, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
“The World Health Organization has described this outbreak as an emergency for China but stopped short of declaring it a public health emergency of global concern because the death toll had yet to meet the threshold.
“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, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Hence, CoV represent an equal opportunity danger to human life and the agricultural sector. A single case of introduction will have potentially broad and prolific ramifications.”