Federal Government Shuts Abuja, Lagos Airports as Nigeria Record 22 Cases of Coronavirus

Bako, John Chukwudi

The Federal Government of Nigeria announced on Saturday that the nation airport – the international wings of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be shut in a few days.

Authorities in Abuja had earlier on Thursday announced the closure of the three other international airports in the country, namely Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. This restricted international flights to only Lagos and Abuja airports. This statement was made known to the public by The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt Musa Nuhu, in a statement on Thursday

Some of the foreign airlines expected to be affected by this closure are British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, AirFrance, KLM, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, South African Airways, Kenyan Airways, Rwandair,  Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc and Africa World Airlines.

The closure of the airports in the country is not unconnected with the ravaging coronavirus pandemic which was first discovered in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019 and was first detected in Nigeria on February 27 when a 44-year-old Italian tested positive (now negative and discharged) for the virus.

Reports in revealed that the Governments of Ekiti and Nasarawa states have placed 47 persons in isolation to contain the spread of the virus.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi announced on Friday. He said, “Our contact tracing team has identified 42 direct and indirect contacts of this imported Ekiti index case, most of whom came in contact with him in the process of managing the illness which took him to hospital.

“None of the contacts show any symptoms and are all being observed under self-isolation. In the next 14 days, their samples will be collected and sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control for testing and we will update the public on the results and any further developments as we receive them.

About five persons from the same family have been quarantined in Nasarawa state in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, for suspected cases of the virus. This event was revealed by the State Commissioner for Health, Mr. Ahmed Yahaya in Lafia on Friday.

In a related development he Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed 10 new cases of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. Three new cases in the Federal Capital Territory and seven new cases in Lagos State.

“This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22. All 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals. Nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.