The management of Air Peace has debunked reports that some members of its flight crew who flew in the 15-man medical team from China escaped from the Coronavirus quarantine centre in Lagos State.
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With reports rife on Sunday about the supposed abscondment of some members of the crew, the company explained that all its staff followed all protocols issued by the relevant agencies concerning flight movement during the Coronavirus pandemic and did not disembark from the aircraft.
It noted that its crew did not have any direct contact with the Chinese medical team as the 15-man team boarded the aircraft “from the central door and stayed in the business class cabin before the take-off of the flight to Nigeria”.
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It also stated that members of the flight crew were not informed by the Nigerian authorities that they would be quarantined upon their return to Nigeria.
The statement read: “While we kept to the directive of quarantining the crew members that conducted the flight, we are surprised that after we followed this protocol the crew members were still asked to be quarantined.
”Air Peace argued against it because it followed NCAA (Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority) protocol in conducting the flight, so discussions on it was inconclusive when the flight headed to Lagos.
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“ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) intention with the protocol is to ensure that flight crew is not quarantined after their operation. Every day, flights are operated all over the world, moving medicals and other critical items.
“If you quarantine the pilots, who will be flying these items that are needed to save human lives under this COVID-19 pandemic?”
The company said members of the flight crew were tested for COVID-19 on their arrival in Beijing, the Chinese capital, and each person tested negative.
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It stated that some crew members went to their homes as they were unaware that they would be quarantined in Lagos State, describing the reports as “written in bad taste”.
“While the engineers and the dispatcher went down to the foot of the aircraft to secure it, the Lagos State government’s health team took the pilots and the cabin crew to quarantine.
“Ignorant that they would be quarantined, the engineers and the dispatcher finished their work and went home, but later the Lagos State government contacted Air Peace and said that the engineers and the dispatcher ought to be quarantined. We called on them and they went to the quarantine facility where they have been ever since then.
“So, the report that indicated that members of our crew ran away from quarantine is not true. It is a report written in bad taste and it is not good because the crew did a heroic thing and need to be commended instead of being vilified,” the statement read.