The federal government on Monday announced the extension of ban imposed on flights from Brazil, Turkey, and India.
The federal government disclosed that the ban which is imposed to prevent the importation of the virulent COVID-19 strain into Nigeria has now been extended by four weeks.
Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 chairman Boss Mustapha made disclosure at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
He said “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 the importation of such virulent strain.”
In May, the 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 was barred from entering the country.
Nigeria is monitoring situations in South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia, and Uganda as their COVID-19 cases rise.
“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 week, while 20,000 were 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,” Mr Mustapha pointed out.
He also noted that about six months ago, the government “barred the travel documents” of some inbound passengers to Nigeria for six months for violating the COVID-19 protocols.
￼He stated, “We have received several appeals from those affected while we counselled on the importance of compliance with rules and regulations.
”The six-month period of ban for the first batch of 100 is almost complete, and we use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that sanctions will be imposed on violators of measures put in place to protect them and safeguard our nation.”
Regarding federal civil servants, Mr Mustapha stated, ”For over six months, federal government employees on GL 12 and below have been observing work-from-home instructions. This restriction remains in place until further notice in order to avert a third wave.”