The Federal Ministry of Health Wednesday confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria bringing the total number of confirmed cases to eight. The Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire made this known to anxious Nigerians during a press briefing in Abuja.
“Of the 5 new positive cases, 3 arrived from the United States, while 2 came in from the United Kingdom. We are still collating information on the travellers; 2 of the 3 from the US are Nigerians, a mother and child, making the 6 weeks old baby the youngest COVID-19 patient we have , and the 3rd is an American national , who crosses the land border and became the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air. “The 2 cases from the UK are Nigerian.”
According to the Director General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekwazu, A detailed travel history of each case is being compiled & contact tracing has begun Our National Emergency Operations Centre is supporting response in the states.
As a fall out of this latest development the government has been compelled to placed travel restrictions to 13 countries. There have been divergent views and debates in Nigeria on whether the authorities in Nigeria should follow examples from other countries by initiating the lockdown policy and place ban on countries with very high COVID-19 case. While the debates are still on the government Wednesday announced the travel restrictions.
The affected countries are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States of America, Norway, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.
All travelers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by Nigeria Center for disease control (NCDC) and Port Health Services.
In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to personally address Nigerians on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to take more drastic precautionary measures against the spread of the disease.