Coronavirus Outbreak: FG Warns Nigerians Against Travelling To China

Published 3 weeks ago by: onuigbo felicia
at 30-01-2020 07:37AM (3 weeks ago)

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The Federal Government, yesterday, warned Nigerians planning to travel to China to shelve such plans until when the Coronavirus epidemic ravaging that country have been brought under control.

It also advised all persons arriving from China or any other country where the epidemic had been detected to quarantine themselves by staying indoors for at least two weeks.

This warning came just as the Federal Government said it has strengthened surveillance at the five international airports in the country to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The five international airports are in Enugu, Lagos, Rivers, Kano and Abuja, the federal capital.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, gave the advice after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the Presidential Villa, as part of efforts to prevent spread of the disease in the country.

Addressing State House Correspondents on the epidemic, Ehanire urged Nigerians to postpone their travel plans to China until all issues relating to the outbreak of the Coronavirus have been adequately resolved.

“In view of the trending stories around the Coronavirus, it has become very necessary to issue a travel advisory to Nigerians. The first is that all Nigerians and all from Nigeria, intending to travel to China should delay all their travel plans until further notice, except it is extremely essential for them to do that trip.

“All persons arriving from China or any country that has a major outbreak is advised, if they have no symptoms at all, to self-isolate, meaning that they stay indoors in their homes for at least two weeks and if they develop any symptoms, like cough, catarrh, sneezing, breathing difficulties within this period, to report to the nearest health facility.

“We are also advising all airlines to report any case of a passenger falling sick on-board before the plane lands. That is a requirement in the agreement. Nigerian Port Health Services, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control are on alert at our airports and other points of entry. That is the advisory,”
he said.

According to reports, at least 132 people have already lost their lives to the epidemic while more than 6,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China, as coronavirus spreads from the Wuhan Province of China across Asia and the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, operatives of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) yesterday raided Panda Supermarket, Abuja following a tip-off that the superstore had in stock certain food items, including sea foods suspected to have been infected with the dreaded virus, Coronavirus, ravaging China.

The FCCPC Director-General (DG), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, said that since the supermarket was a one-stop-shop for a variety of Asian sea foods and other consumables, it was necessary to take some precautionary measures.

This is as Lagos State said it had reached an agreement with the China Embassy in Nigeria to quarantine all Chinese returning to Lagos from their country to forestall the spread of Coronavirus.

Irukera said officials of the commission swiftly carried out the sting operation, following credible information that the supermarket operators were indulging in some suspicious and discriminatory practices.

He said the agency discovered some expired meat, sea foods and other products in the supermarket.

According to him, it also uncovered a special cold room segment exclusively reserved for Chinese and other Asian nationals within the supermarket located in the Jabi District of Abuja.

On the social media reports that the entire supermarket had been shut down, the FCCPC boss said it was only the secluded cold room and the concealed segments housing the uncertified sea foods and other expired products that were sealed off, with all the products quarantined pending further investigations.

He said though no Coronavirus threat had been established from the investigation carried out on the quarantined products, having a segment in the supermarket where non-Asians were not allowed to access and shop, raised serious concerns and apprehension.

On its part, Lagos State said it would not waste time to prevent the spread of the deadly disease as it happened in the case of Ebola virus.

Speaking at an emergency news conference on the disease held at the Secretariat, Alausa, the state’s Commissioner for Heath, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that many people in China living in Lagos had travelled back to their country to celebrate the Chinese New Year and had not returned before the outbreak of Coronavirus in their country.

The commissioner added that government was in regular contact with the Port Authority and the Port Health Centre at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to screen people coming into the country and obtain contacts of such people in case of any eventuality to make tracing them easy.

Abayomi said if some of them returned in the next few days, government had the instruction of the China Embassy to quarantine such Chinese for 14 days to see if they would present symptom of Coronavirus in order to avoid spread of the disease.