…Agents Demand Indentity of 6 Confirmed Cases Onboard Ship
By DAPO OLAWUNI
A container vessel; MSC Shaula which is suspected to have had one confirmed case of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic is now reportedly set to berth at the Tin Can Island Port today.
This is even as port users have charged the Federal and Lagos state government to reveal the identity of the six reported cases of COVID-19 COVID-19 onboard a vessel as well as the terminal the ship birthed.
The National Centre for Desease Control (NCDC) had on Thursday night confirmed 14 new cases of cornavirus in the country.
According to the NCDC, out of the 14 new cases, 6 were detected on a vessel, 3 are returning travellers into Nigeria and 1 is close contact of a confirmed case.
Sources confirmed to our correspondent that the suspected MSC Shaula was supposed to berth at Ports and Cargo Terminal on 21st of March, but on discovering that the vessel had an infected person onboard it was quarantined at the Taqua Bay area of Tin Can Port.
Expressing his fears to our correspondent, a licensed Customs agent, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeme said the same vessel, MSC Shaula is billed to arrive the Tin Can Port Today, 27th of March.
“If the government is telling us that six cases were discovered onboard a vessel, they should give us the name of the vessel so that everybody would be careful. According to them, this virus stays between six to twelve hours on a metal surface”
“The MSC Shaula was supposed to berth on 21st of March, but they said they stopped the vessel because of somebody, now the government is saying that they discovered 6 cases onboard a vessel, let them come out and tell us so that everyone would be careful “
“As I speak with you, the MSC Shaula is around Takwa Bay area and it is stemmed for Ports and Cargo, if it comes there, some of the containers would be going to Mid Maritime, Trinity, Okota 1 and 2, some bonded terminals like Clarion Bonded Terminal, Classic 1 and 2 would all benefit from these containers “
“The vessel would come in today to drop the containers, but we were told that it would not return back with empty containers, and this is another port congestion” he said
Onyeme advised that the port should be locked down since it is no longer safe.
However, the spokesman for SIFAX Group, operators of Ports and Cargo terminal, Mr Olumuyiwa Akande debunked the reports in a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS.
He said that some concerned stakeholders have equally called to make enquiries on the suspected case, but he assured that there is no case of suspected rew with Coronavirus at the terminal.
Muyiwa allayed the fear of port users, saying that “The only agency that can declare anybody infected is the NCDC, and there is a process, there would be symptoms, samples would be taken, tested, and upon that, the NCDC can now confirm if anyone is positive or negative”
“We cannot come to a conclusion everytime somebody sneezes that he is infected. The Port Health are at the port to check every crew coming into the port”
“As of now, there is no report of any suspected crew at our terminal, all vessels that supposed to berth at our terminal are berthing, if there are issues, the NPA would have been the first to know”
“We are aware of the implications, if such happens, our staff would be at risk, now we have even scaled down our operations to ensure that everyone is safe. Only the people in key operations are going to work right now” he said