Nigeria is increasingly exposed to the deadly coronavirus.
That is the stark reality that confronted Nigerians on Wednesday as government responded with a massive travel ban on 13 countries, including the USA and United Kingdom and suspended visas on arrival policy.
Five new cases of coronavirus just confirmed in Nigeria by the Federal Ministry of Health were imported from the USA and United Kingdom, increasing the cases in Nigeria from three registered in Lagos to eight nationally.
Three of the confirmed cases, two of them Nigerians, a mother and her six-week old baby arrived from the US. Another two cases, all Nigerians arrived from the UK.
Government did not indicate where the cases were found.
“A detailed travel history of each case is being compiled & contact tracing has begun
“Our National Emergency Operations Centre is supporting response in the states
“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health is conducting risk assessment to initiate other relevant measures”, said a tweet by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.
“We urge Nigerians to remain calm as public health response activities are intensified across the country”, NCDC said.
The first index case of the virus is an Italian from Milan.
Hence, the Federal Government announced entry restriction for travellers from the US, Italy and the UK.
Other countries affected are China, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Switzerland.
These are all countries with over 1,000 cases domestically.
“The Federal Government is temporarily suspending all visas issued to nationals from these countries. Nigerians arriving from these countries will be subjected to supervised isolation for 14 days.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is also advising all Nigerians to avoid travel to these countries.
“These restrictions will come into effect from Friday 20 March 2020 for 4 weeks subject to review”, said Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation, who also chairs the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.