As the coronavirus spread continue to affect the aviation industry globally with governments placing travel bans on countries with high rate of the disease, the federal government on Monday said travellers coming into the country from France, Germany, and Spain would undergo a secondary screening and a self-isolation for 14 days.
Minister of Health for State, Mr Olorunbe Mamora, speaking during a press briefing in Abuja, stated that the three countries have been added to the list of high-risk nations with widespread community transmission.
This is coming after China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea have all been labelled high risk countries.
Mr Mamora said the step became important for travellers from the eight countries after Nigeria carried out a review of its case definition for coronavirus.
“Despite that we have not recorded a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last one week in Nigeria, it is important to remember that we are still at high risk like other countries.
“We continue to monitor returning travellers that fit our case definition and improve our surveillance, detection and risk communications.
“Following the declaration of a pandemic and increasing spread in countries, we carried out a review of our case definition. We have added three new countries to the existing list of five high-risk countries with widespread community transmission. These are France, Germany, and Spain. Therefore, eight countries are on our priority list- China, Japan, Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea, France and Germany.
“Travellers from these eight countries will undertake secondary screening at the point of entry. They are also advised to self-isolate for 14 days on entry,” the Minister said.
He noted that between January 7 and March 15, 2020, a total of 48 people, who met Nigeria’s case definition had been screened for coronavirus in Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Yobe, Rivers, Kano, Enugu states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He added, “47 have tested negative and have been cleared, one was positive (contact of the index case) and one result is pending. There has been no death. The index case is clinically stable and has improved greatly. We look forward to progressing early this week, to guide the medical team in discharging him.”
On the case of the woman that was placed in isolation in Enugu after being suspected of having symptoms synonymous with coronavirus, Mr Mamora said she had tested negative to the virus.”
“In Enugu, a woman in her 70s returned from the United Kingdom and had symptoms of fever and mild respiratory illness. Her sample was collected for laboratory diagnosis and tested negative for COVID-19.
“Therefore, as of March 15, 2020, Nigeria has recorded two confirmed cases of COVID-19. One case is now negative and has been discharged from the hospital,” he added.
In the latest report about the pandemic, a total of 6,687 people have died with 174,893 cases confirmed in 162 countries so far with 77,867 people recovered.