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Nigeria places travelers from South Africa on ban list over Covid-19 3rd wave

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Nigeria has placed travelers from South Africa on the list of countries banned from entering the country as a result of fear of importing the new variant of Covid-19 into the country.

In May, the federal government had declared person that has visited Brazil, India, or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into the country.

The restriction, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through the countries.

At a briefing on Monday, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who also doubled as the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha said travelers from the three countries would be restricted from entering the country henceforth.

“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,” he stated.

He said that South Africa recorded over 100,000 cases in the last one week while 20,000 were recorded in the last 24 hours.

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“The four major variants of concern are now classified as Alpha (UK), Beta (SA), Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India),” he said.

“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. The WHO Country Representative and the DG NCDC will elaborate on this and the measures for mitigating a potential third wave.”

Mustapha said the federal government also extended restrictions to travelers from Brazil, Turkey, and India for another four weeks.

He said the restrictions would be reviewed after 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 the importation of such virulent strain,” he added.

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

He noted that the PSC would continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in African countries, including South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda.

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