COVID-19: Nigeria May Impose Travel Ban On India, Others

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The Federal Government plans to issue a travel advisory within the next two days on inbound flights from India, Brazil and Turkey.

This followed the escalation of new variants of COVID-19 virus in those countries, Head, Technical Secretariat of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Dr, Mukhtar Muhammad, said at a news conference in Abuja yesterday.

He expressed concern over the situation in India, which is a popular destination for medical tourists from Nigeria.

The PSC also urged Nigerians to keep observing all the regulations and instructions already provided to keep safe from the infection of COVID-19, warning that the third wave of the pandemic, going by how it has been sweeping through other parts of the world, is lurking around to enter Nigeria, especially as the nation has already reopened its economy to the world.

He said: “While we continue to reopen the economy, we must also be aware of the happenings around the globe. Mr. Chairman and Minister of Health have made reference to specific incidences in India, Turkey, Brazil and also South Africa.

“These were taken with serious concern and we continue to monitor what is going on in these countries. We sympathise with the people of these countries because it is really a very trying time particularly for India, that is recording over 300,000 cases a day. And accordingly over 2000 deaths.

“It is not easy. India is a prime destination for medical tourism for Nigeria. We know that many Nigerians like to travel to go to India, but now we see the situation that the country has found itself in. While we urge Nigerians to limit all travellers to only essential travel, particularly to these affected countries.

“We will continue to urge Nigerians to also comply with public health measures that are put in place to continue to ensure that we comply with the regulation.

“We actually empathise with those countries and what is happening in those climes. However, on our part, we are looking seriously into this issue. We are looking at other considerations that we need to provide.

“The health of Nigerians is of prime importance and whatever we need to do to protect Nigeria and to protect Nigerians from going into escalation of this current situation, the PSC will do that as necessarily.

“We will be providing some travel advise in the next 48, 72 hours with particular reference to both Nigerians and those coming into the country to help advise us.”

Sunday Akintoye

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