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COVID-19: FG extends Turkey, India, Brazil travel ban

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NIGERIA’S Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has extended the ban on flights from Brazil, Turkey and India by four weeks.

   Chairman of PSC on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed during their national briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

  He said that about six months ago, following the violation of the COVID-19 protocols by some inbound passengers to Nigeria, their travel documents were barred for a period of six months.

  According to him, the ban is being extended to rise up to new challenges in the fight against the pandemic.

  “A few weeks ago, we announced additional measures to be met by passengers arriving from Brazil, Turkey and India. This action was due to the prevalence of variants of concern and the dangers associated with importation of the new virulent strain. South Africa has, however, been added to this category once more. In addition to these three countries, the PSC has also shifted its focus on some African countries. South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda fall in this category. South Africa for example, recorded over 100,000 cases in the last one week while 20,000 was recorded in the last 24 hours.  

  The four major variants of concern are now classified as Alpha (UK), Beta (SA); Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India). The Delta variant which has wreaked devastating havoc, is not yet found in Nigeria hence the need to tighten our borders and be more vigilant,” the SGF said.

  Explaining that PSC has been reviewing these restrictions and is of the opinion that they should remain for another four weeks before it is further reviewed, Mustapha, also disclosed that South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda were being monitored as the COVID-19 cases were increasing there.

  It will be recalled that as of May 2021, PSC banned incoming flights from Brazil, India and Turkey, noting that anyone who had been in those three countries within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Nigeria would be barred from entering the country.

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