Joe Effiong, Uyo,
The latest aircraft acquired by Akwa Ibom state government for its Ibom Air fleet is said to have the potential of fighting and eliminating any virus or bacteria from its cabin.
The secretary to the state government and state chairman of COVID-19 management committee, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who disclosed this yesterday while giving an update on the committee’s activities, said the plane, a Bombardier CRJ-900, brings to four the number of aircraft in Ibom Air fleet.
.” This particular aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXP, made its maiden commercial flight in May 2014 (just 6 years ago) Thus, Ibom Air continues to operate the lowest average fleet age amongst Nigeria’s airlines.
“This fleet strategy is in line with our vision to be a world-class African regional airline. A key benefit of Ibom Air’s very modern fleet of Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft is that they all come fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.
“HEPA filters are high-intensity filters that do not just filter dust, but effectively capture greater than 99% of the airborne microbes in the filtered air, including microscopic particles such as bacteria and viruses.
“Cabin air is HEPA equipped aircraft generally pass through the filters 20-30 times per hour, removing contaminants and greatly enhancing the quality of air in the cabin.
“Therefore, when the suspension on domestic flight is lifted, Ibom Air will offer one of the safest, if not safest domestic travel options during COVID19 pandemic in addition to other personal and respiratory hygiene guidelines already prescribed globally,” Ekuwem said.
He said by accumulative statistics of COVID-19 cases in the state, the incidence curve was on the decline with more recovered cases discharged.
“So far, our cumulative statistics are as follows; Confirmed cases: 18, Discharged cases:12,
Deaths: 2, Total Active Cases: 4
We have continued to carry out point of entry screening at various border points around the state. Using law enforcement agencies in collaboration with the local communities; we have installed 3G surveillance cameras and mounted gates at major entry points into the state.
“ So far We have intercepted and apprehended several people who attempted entering the state illegally but we are disturbed about the incidence of people sneaking into the state; some of them bringing in corpses for burial.” The SSG lamented
He said the state government was constrained to reject the 10; very old used vehicles donated by ExxonMobil for use in the COVID-19 contact tracing in the state after an evaluation of the vehicles and other donations to the state by the oil company.
Ekuwem explained; “The vehicles are considered too old and not in good enough operational conditions to withstand the rigors of contact tracing which they were meant to serve.”