The Nigerian government has announced a temporary ban on non-Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days of intended arrival into Nigeria.
This is due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said in a statement on Sunday.
Mustapha said the travel ban does not apply to passengers who only transited through these countries that have been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past week.
He said the new travel advisory shall come into effect from May 4 and shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks.
“In our effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases,” Mustapha said.
“The risk assessment took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country amongst other indicators.
Of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three (3) countries in the first instance.
“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.”
He explained that such passengers within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test and if positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.
If Negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
India has had more COVID-19 cases in the last seven days than anywhere else in the world, Reuters reported.
Indian hospitals, morgues and crematoriums have been overwhelmed as the country has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight. Many families have been left on their own to scramble for medicines and oxygen.
Nearly 10 Indian states and union territories have imposed some form of restrictions, even as the federal government remains reluctant to impose a national lockdown.
The pandemic also continued to wreak havoc in Brazil, which on Thursday became the second country to officially top 400,000 COVID-19 deaths — April was Brazil’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with about 100,000 lives lost.