Coronavirus fears grow in Nigeria as passenger dies aboard Calabar to Abuja flight


FEARS have grown about the possibility of contracting coronavirus while flying within Nigeria following the recent easing of travel restrictions after an elderly patient died aboard an Air Peace plane while flying from Calabar to Abuja.


Like most nations on earth, Nigeria shut down her airspace and closed all her airports during the height of the pandemic, totally suspending air travel. Over the last month, however, the government has allowed domestic flights and airlines have resumed flights within the country under stringent conditions.


Yesterday, however, a 72-year-old male passenger passed away aboard an Air Peace Calabar to Abuja flight. Source at the Margret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, disclosed that the deceased had a case of paraplegia due to spinal injury since 2019 and had been on medication and going for check-up in Abuja.


He became severely sick while on board the flight and upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The deceased who was escorted to the airport by his daughter, was certified fit to fly by the Port Health authorities at the Calabar airport but could not make the journey alive.


When the flight landed at the Abuja airport, his remains were removed from the aircraft by officials of Port Health for other necessary protocols. Air Peace spokesman Stanley Olise who said that the deceased was certified fit to fly before embarking on the flight, added that there was no indication that he was severely sick, as he was certified fit by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian in Calabar.


He added: “The passenger was certified fit to fly by Port Health officials in Calabar before boarding our aircraft but the passenger developed a medical condition in-flight. On arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja, we urgently notified the Port Health officials who confirmed the death and took the remains of the passenger to the hospital for the necessary protocols.


"Air Peace has thoroughly decontaminated its aircraft and Port Health is on top of the situation."