NIGERIA has shut down three of its international airports and directed that all arrivals from abroad must come in through either Lagos or Abuja as part of the government’s measure to combat the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
Although largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria has had eight known scares, with all of them coming from abroad. Nigeria’s first case involved an Italian gentleman, the second was an Indian, while the third was a local lady who travelled back from the UK earlier this month.
All of those affected have been declared negative after being isolated for 14 days but the government is introducing more measures to ensure that the virus does not spread. On Wednesday, the federal government announced restrictions on visitors from 13 countries, including the UK and US, saying that arrivals from these nations must go into 14 days of isolation before being allowed to mingle with the general public.
Other nations affected by the restrictions include Japan, Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Iran and South Korea. Just this morning, Austria and Sweden were added to the list.
Taking the precautions further, the federal government has directed that international flights into the country must now only come through the Murtala Mohammad International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Health minister Dr Osagie Ehanire, pointed that this means that the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, would be closed to all international flights.
Also, Captain Musa Nuhu, the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has directed that all persons arriving in Nigeria who might have visited the countries affected by the travel ban 15 days prior to arrival, would be subjected to supervised self-quarantine and testing for 14 days. He added that the travel restrictions are also applicable to all flight crew from the affected countries.
Captain Nuhu said: “All operators wishing to operate into Nigeria are required to operate with two sets of flight crew. One set to operate into Nigeria and one set to operate out of Nigeria.”