Virus spread: We won’t stop Chinese, Italians, others from visiting Nigeria — FG

The Federal Government says it has no plans to impose  travel   restrictions   on visitors from countries where   coronavirus continues to spread rapidly.

However,  Nigeria    has  decided to screen visitors entering the  country  from  China (where the disease originated last year), Japan, Iran, Italy , Germany, France,  South  Korea and Spain.

The killer disease was brought to Nigeria by an Italian man who arrived in Lagos aboard a Turkish Airlines plane on February 24.

He travelled  from  Lagos to Ogun State before he was quarantined inthe Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

There has been other cases of the virus, but they proved negative.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday,  the Minister of  State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, said  the FG  decided to screen visitors  from the eight countries after the World Health Organisation declared  the coronavirus outbreak  a  pandemic.

The ex-Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker said, “Despite  we have not recorded a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last one week in Nigeria, it is important to remember that we are still at high risk like other countries. We  will continue to monitor returning travellers that fit our case definition and improve our surveillance, detection and risk communications.

“We have  carried out a review of our case definition. We have added three new countries to the existing list of five high-risk countries with widespread community transmission. These are France, Germany and Spain. Therefore, eight countries are on our priority list – China, Japan, Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea, France and Germany.

“Travellers from these eight countries will undertake secondary screening at the point of entry. They are also advised to self-isolate for 14 days on entry.”

He  said  between  January 7 and March 15  48 people who  had contact with the Italian  were  screened for coronavirus in Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Yobe, Rivers, Kano, Enugu states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Mamora  added, “Forty-seven people  have tested negative and have been cleared. One was positive (after contact with the index case) and one result is pending. There has been no death.

“The index case is clinically stable and has improved greatly.”

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