The Nigerian government on Monday added South Africa to its red list of countries for which there are stringent restrictions for arriving passengers in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the African country, reported Reuters.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, the head of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said the Nigerian government has introduced the restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant in South Africa. The list already includes India, Brazil, and Turkey. The ban shall be subjected to review after an initial period of four weeks.
“In Nigeria, we haven’t found the Delta variant yet,” Ihekweazu said during the press briefing.
Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited the countries on the list within 14 days are not allowed to enter Nigeria. Nigerian passport holders and residents will have to undergo mandatory seven-day quarantine in a government-approved facility at a cost that will be incurred by the passenger.
They are also required to take COVID-19 tests within 24 hours or arrival and after seven days in quarantine.
Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said the committee has been reviewing these restrictions and agrees they should remain for another four weeks before it is further reviewed.
“A few weeks ago, we announced additional measures to be met by passengers arriving from Brazil, Turkey, and India,” Mustapha said adding, “This action was due to the prevalence of variants of concern and the dangers associated with the importation of such virulent strain.”
South Africa has been witnessing a resurgence of coronavirus cases, with a peak expected to exceed that of earlier waves. On Sunday, the government re-imposed strict restrictions for the next two weeks to combat a surge in the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant. The country has been placed on alert level four, just one level below a full lockdown, as the health authorities have recorded over 100,000 cases in the last week.