Nigeria bans entry to arrivals from 13 countries to combat coronavirus

19 March 2020 - 10:32 By Reuters
Nigeria's Minister for Health Osagie Ehanire displays an image of the the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as he address the media regarding the first case of the virus confirmed in Nigeria during a press briefing in Abuja on February 28, 2020.
Nigeria's Minister for Health Osagie Ehanire displays an image of the the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as he address the media regarding the first case of the virus confirmed in Nigeria during a press briefing in Abuja on February 28, 2020.
Image: Kola Sulaimon / AFP

Nigeria will from Saturday ban entry to arrivals from 13 of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus epidemic, the minister of interior said on Wednesday.

All the countries on the list, which includes the US, Britain, Germany, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, have reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases.

“Federal government has placed a complete travel ban on 13 countries. We have also suspended issuance of visas to citizens of these countries and have also cancelled all visas earlier issued to them,” said Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola.

The minister, who addressed reporters in the capital Abuja after emerging from a cabinet meeting, said the ban would take effect from Saturday and “will last for four weeks subject to review”. Earlier, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said the restrictions would come into force on Friday.

Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said on Twitter that Nigerians arriving from the 13 countries would be subject to supervised isolation for 14 days.

“Nigerians are also advised to cancel or suspend travelling to these countries,” he said in a tweet.

Nigeria has recorded eight confirmed coronavirus cases, health ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Several governments in Africa, where the virus present in at least 26 countries but has spread more slowly than in Europe and Asia, have closed borders, cancelled flights and imposed strict entry and quarantine requirements.


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