Nigeria has opted to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of rigorous screening at the points of entry and self-isolation for two weeks for passengers who have been to the Asian country in the last 14 days. This was decided against the option of closing its borders to visitors from China amid the Coronavirus scare.
According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, “WHO did not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available and countries were cautioned against actions that promote stigma or discrimination, in line with the principles of Article 3 of the International Health Regulations (IHR)”.
He also said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday acquired the capacity to detect the coronavirus at the point of entry in Abuja and planned to replicate the feat in Lagos this week.
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) also confirmed the non-closure if border. He said the country would not close her borders against Chinese nationals returning from the Lunar new year celebration because the Federal Government had put in place necessary measures for the detection of the coronavirus or any other disease.
James said that even though the disease was devastating China, “fundamental international relations does not permit any country to close her borders to any group of persons or a country without any diplomatic law to that effect.”
The NIS also explained that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has put in place a thermal scan across the nation’s airports which would ensure that such health cases are detected and proper action is taken.
The Lagos State government advised all travelers returning from China or exposed to a traveler from China or any country where cases of the coronavirus have been reported to observe self-quarantine on arrival in Lagos.
In a public advisory issued yesterday through the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the state government described unsupervised self-quarantine for travelers as the first step in containing the virus in Lagos.
According to Abayomi, self-quarantine is a public health strategy used to separate and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to a communicable disease. The aim is to protect individuals who may have been exposed and the general public.
According to him, persons observing self-quarantine must stay at home during the whole duration of the self-quarantine, and must avoid workplace, minimize contact with family members, ensure no contact with visitors, refrain from attending or going to public or social functions and must not ride or fly in any mode of public transportation.”
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