FG suspends all travel plans to China over Coronavirus

The Federal Government has advised all travellers from Nigeria, including Nigerians, planning to travel to China, to suspend their travel plans until further notice.

Minister for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who dropped the advisory Wednesday evening while addressing State House Correspondents in Abuja, was speaking in regards to Nigeria’s preparedness to prevent the new global health scourge, the Coronavirus, from spreading in Nigeria.

The Minister, who was one of those who briefed the State House Press Corps of the outcome of the maiden 2020 Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, also said those arriving in the country from China or any of the countries with a major outbreak of the disease would be under watch.

According to Ehanire, all government agencies in charge of health issues development monitoring agencies had been set on alert at all ports of entry into the country.

He also advised that those coming into the country from China or any other country with a history of a spread of the disease, although who might not have observed any symptoms of the disease, to self-isolate for about two weeks to observe themselves.

“In view of the trending stories around the Coronavirus, it has become very necessary to issue a travel advisory to Nigerians. The first is that all Nigerians and all from Nigeria, intending to travel to China should delay all their travel plans until further notice, except it is extremely essential for them to do that trip.

“All persons arriving from China or any country that has a major outbreak is advised, if they have no symptoms at all, to self-isolate, meaning that they stay indoors in their homes for at least two weeks and if they develop any symptoms, like cough, catarrh, sneezing, breathing difficulties within this period, to report to the nearest health facility.

“We are also advising all airlines to report any case of a passenger falling sick on-board before the plane lands. That is a requirement in the agreement. Nigerian Port Health Services, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control are on alert at our airports and other points of entry. That is the advisory.

Asked about Chinese who are expected to return into the country from their Lunar Year holiday in China, the Minister explained that the advisory does not use nationality as a criterion.

“We don’t have statistics on the number of Chinese returning to this country, but what I can telling you is that for those who travelled and meet the conditions we mentioned can come back to their work.

“I also want to remind you that there are very many Nigerians in China who will be coming home, not only Chinese and other people who have works to do in Nigeria from that area. We are not using your nationality as a criterion, we are using your state of health,” he said.

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