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COVID-19: Nigeria removes India from list of flagged countries

...says Delta variant now a dominant strain in Nigeria

Nigeria government on Monday said travellers from India will no longer be denied entry into Nigeria as the country has been removed from the list of flagged countries.

Recall that in May, Nigeria placed a ban on travellers coming from India, Brazil and Turkey due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in those countries.

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman, presidential steering committee on COVID-19, who said this at the committee’s briefing in Abuja, informed that the decision to lift the ban was as a result of the improved situation in the country.

He added that government will continue to dialogue with the representatives of the UAE to resolve the issue of the Emirates flights between Nigeria and the UAE.

According to Mustapha, compliance with protocols laid down for quarantine to ensure control remains a source of concerns, hence the need to review the protocol has become expedient to align with existing global protocols and realities.

Read Also: Nigeria reverts to COVID-19 restrictions as WHO classifies Indian variant major threat

“On this note, the PSC will adopt a sustainable model and policy that will be unveiled soon”, he said.

To ease travels for fully vaccinated Nigerians, Mustapha said the government was exploring the principles of reciprocity between Nigeria and other nations.

“For the time being, Nigerians are advised to always carry their vaccination card details or barcode on their electronic devices for easy access especially for those travelling outside the country”, he said.

The chairman stressed that vaccines remains the best bet to fighting the pandemic and informed that there will be enough vaccines to go round soon. He said Nigeria would have received about 52 million doses of the vaccines by the second quarter of 2022.

Read Also: Covid-19 crisis in India: What went wrong?

Mustapha also disclosed that efforts were on-going to implement the policy on vaccine mandate for all federal public servants to ensure safety in the workplace and at home.

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health said evidence has so far shown that the Delta strain is already dominant in Nigeria.

He warned that though the third wave of the pandemic may appear to be levelling out, because there have been no catastrophic increases in infections and fatalities, it is not wise to assume that the threat is gone, especially as cases are fluctuating and have to be identified by genomic sequencing.

The minister assured that even though there is a 25 percent shortfall in CICAX supply, Nigeria will not run low on vaccines.

Ehanire further noted that there were reports of new coronavirus mutations circulating in other countries, and assured that government will monitor with all tools available to respond appropriately.

Also speaking, Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency noted that vaccine cards were becoming a requirement across country.

He, therefore, warned against any attempt to produce/procure and sell fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

“Anyone who ventures into this would be apprehended and made to face the law. This is a criminal offence, in which both the buyer and seller would be prosecuted.

“We therefore urge all Nigerians to report any suspected attempt by any person or group of persons to buy or sell a COVID-19 vaccination card to us via our call centre line on 0700 220 1122, any of our social media handles (Facebook and Instagram), at the nearest police station or any other law enforcement agency. No one needs to cut corners on COVID-19 vaccination.

“The vaccines are free, and the vaccination cards are given free of charge at any of our designated health facility after your vaccination” Shuaib said.

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