Nigerian health authorities on Sunday announced the government has decided to ban entry to non-Nigerian passengers who traveled to India, Brazil, and Turkey in the last two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, reported Reuters.
The decision has been taken by Nigeria’s presidential steering committee on COVID-19 considering the rapid spike in COVID-19 cases and the presence of more contagious virus variants in the concerned countries.
However, the ban does not imply to passengers having made a transit stop by one of the three countries. The travel restriction will take effect from May 4.
“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries,” the statement issued by Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Nigerian pandemic presidential steering committee, read.
According to the statement, Nigerian citizens and permanent residents who have traveled to at least one of the three countries in the last 14 days will have to undergo mandatory quarantine for a week in a government-approved facility on arrival.
Furthermore, all passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel and not 96-hours.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has reported over 165,000 coronavirus cases and 2,060 deaths since COVID-19 was first identified in China’s Wuhan at the end of 2019. But these figures do not reflect the real situation as the number of tests carried out is way too low considering the country’s more than 200 million inhabitants.
India has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight. In Brazil, the number of new coronavirus cases has dropped since the March peak, but remain high by historical standards. It is just second to the United States in terms of the number of COVID-19 deaths.
Turkey, with the world’s fourth-highest number of cases, imposed a nationwide complete lockdown on Thursday, lasting until May 17.