By Babafemi Ojudu
I came into Abuja last night on Turkish Airline and I was impressed with what I saw and experienced. This was contrary to to the story of unpreparedness I was inundated with while away.
Right from inside the plane and one hour before landing we were issued a form to complete. It was comprehensive. It asked personal details such as your local address, phone numbers, date of birth as well as details of where you came from.
We were asked information about our health, ailments, symptoms as well as medications we have taken since we traveled.
Even where you failed to disclose or say the truth there were enough information to lead to you should anything go wrong.
As we entered the arrival hall, masked health officials welcomed us, collected the forms, scanned through and ushered us to face the medical equipment that read our temperature.
It was a notch different from the days of Ebola when you have someone pointing some equipment at your forehead.
This was a computer screening equipment that you stand about five feet away from and immediately capture your body temperature and possibly other indicators I may not be familiar with. I have a feeling too it captured our images.
I was also, on inquiry, told ambulances were positioned at the airport to ferry patients to already designated centres should any one be suspected to have contracted the disease.
From the screening point, and every step of the way, you find sanitizers everywhere including immigration officers desks, toilets etc.
I went through two airports before arriving Abuja. I didn’t see or experience any of this. If this is no preparedness then what is?
I know a number of angry and fault finding folks who never like to hear or listen to any one say anything positive about Nigeria will abhor this.
If you like abuse me till tomorrow. I will say what I saw. If you don’t believe me go to the airport and find out for yourself.
In Tunis and Istanbul, the two airports I passed through , there was nothing to show there was a pandemic like coronavirus ravaging the world. We left as we came in. No questions asked. Only a few passengers I saw wore face masks. Yet these countries were just a hop from Italy where coronavirus has become a big problem.
Kudos to our health care staff and authorities. Continue to up your game. We may have one or two things to teach the world in managing epidemics just as we did with Ebola.
God bless Nigeria!!
Senator Babafemi Ojudu is Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters