COVID-19: FG extends travel ban on travellers from Brazil, India, Turkey, South Africa

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has extended by one month the ban on travellers from India, Brazil and Turkey owing to the increasing incidence of COVID-19 cases in those countries.

It has also added travellers from South Africa to the list.

This was disclosed on Monday by the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the committee in Abuja

The Federal Government in May barred travellers from India, Brazil and Turkey, saying that the ban would be reviewed after an initial period of four weeks.

He said the PSC had been reviewing these restrictions and believed that the restriction should subsist for another four weeks.

“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 such virulent strain.

“The PSC has been reviewing these restrictions and is of the opinion that they should remain for another four weeks before it is further reviewed.

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South Africa, has, however, been added to this category once more,” Mustapha said.

Mustapha said the PSC has been monitoring global developments on COVID-19 with particular focus on variants of concern, and that surveillance and risk communication had been escalated.

“The PSC wishes to encourage members of the public not to lower their guards yet because we continue to see spikes in some countries, including African countries, and the emergence of variants of concern in several jurisdictions where the third wave has occurred,” he said.

The SGF also said that in addition to the banned countries, the PSC has also shifted its focus on some African countries, including South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda.

South Africa for example, recorded over 100,000 cases in the last one 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.”

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