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COVID-19: FG Says No Plan On Travel Restrictions

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said Nigeria has no plan to place travel restrictions on countries affected by the deadly coronavirus.

The health minister said this in Abuja on Friday while briefing journalists on measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

While developed countries like the United State are placing travel restrictions on all European countries excluding the United Kingdom over the surge of the spread of the virus, Nigeria’s health minister insist the country has no need to impose such restrictions “because the transmission risk to the country is not yet high.”

Ehanire said the federal government is monitoring the outbreak on the international scene and would employ the necessary measures when appropriate. Adding that, although the risk of transmission is higher among air travellers, transmission from land borders cannot also be ruled out.

The health minister stated, “We don’t go after a fly with a sledgehammer. We are operating with a tailored approach that is suitable for the situation on ground in Nigeria. We don’t want to put restrictions where they are not helpful and we are monitoring the situation closely. When there is any change, we will do the needful.

“Our situation is different from what is obtainable in China or the USA or Italy, and as such, we cannot employ the same approach. Every response to the outbreak is country-tailored.

“We are working in partnership with the Port Health Services to prioritise measures for the containment of COVID-19, especially the screening of passengers at points of entry.”

He, however, advised Nigerians to delay travelling to countries considered high risk unless it is of great importance.

According to John Hopkins University’s records, the contagion has led to over 5000 deaths, with over 118000 cases globally.

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