UPDATED: Coronavirus: Nigeria bans foreign trips for public officials

The federal government has banned foreign travels for all public officials.

This was part of the resolution reached by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Mr Mustapha briefed journalists on the resolutions of the meeting in Abuja.

The taskforce also “strongly discourage(s) travel by Nigerians to affected countries except for essential trips.”

The committee also rejected calls by many Nigerians to restrict travels from countries with high cases of coronavirus.

Many countries, including African countries like Ghana and South Africa, have already put such restrictions in place to limit the importation of the disease from highly-affected countries.

Rather than do that, the presidential committee “encourage(d) everyone returning to Nigeria from any country to self-isolate for 14-days.”

“All those returning from countries where there is high (over 1000 cases cumulatively) community transmission, will be actively followed up for 14 days by NCDC & Port Health Services,” the committee resolved.

The committee was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari last week to spearhead the coordination of anti-Covid-19 activities in the country.

The 11-member committee is chaired by Mr Mustapha.

The meeting was summoned after the government got a notification of the third confirmed Covid-19 case in the country.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, had earlier told reporters that the meeting would determine what step the government would take to curtail the spread of the disease in the country.

He said the committee would discuss if there is a need to ban flights and social gatherings in the country.

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“With regard to banning flights into Nigeria or social activities and festivals, I will provide an update after the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus, scheduled for later today, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria will make further announcements later today,” the minister had said.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), on its twitter handle @NCDCgov provided more details of the meeting.

It said the task force will work to strengthen national response strategy through deployment of resources, research, public awareness and collaboration.

The committee urged all Nigerians to maintain personal and respiratory hygiene.

It said decisions will be reviewed appropriately as the situation evolves.

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