The Federal Government has included South Africa to the list of countries that can’t have flights into Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha stated this, also mentioning Zambia, Rwanda Nambia and Uganda in addition to Turkey, Brazil and India as the countries affected by the Federal Government’s decision.
He explained that South Africa for example, recorded over 100, 000 cases in the last one week while 20,000 were recorded in the last 24 hours.
Mustapha listed the four major variants of concern now classified as Alpha (UK), Beta (SA); Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India), adding that the Delta variant which had wreaked devastating havoc, is not yet found in Nigeria.
He added that the work from home for federal government workers on Grade Level 12 and below which had been in place for six months remains, saying it was to avert a third wave.
On the issue of Emirates flights in and out of Nigeria, he said, ”The relevant Ministries continued to review developments and concluded that any decision to fly the Nigerian route by an airline is a business decision. In all circumstances, however, conditions placed on such flights must conform with international civil aviation standards and must not be discriminatory and must respect our sovereignty.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire stated that Nigeria has so far escaped the worst of COVID-19 and the dire predictions made about the country.
He said the Ministry of Health had been preparing itself to ensure system resilience.
Ehanire added that a team from the Federal Ministry of Health, led by the Director of Public Health, was working closely with Lagos and Ogun State governments to advise the funeral planning committee for a Lagos based cleric, to ensure COVID-19 protocols are observers, in anticipation of large turnout.