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06 mai 2020 | 23h11 UTC

Nigeria: Authorities announce extension of flight ban to June 7 to curb spread of COVID-19 /update 21

Nigeria Alerte de sécurité

On May 6, Nigerian authorities announce an extension of existing flight ban to June 7 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19); follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/5/2020, 12h00 until 8/6/2020, 11h59 (Africa/Lagos). COUNTRY/REGION Nigeria

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Event

On Wednesday, May 6, Nigerian authorities announced an extension of the existing ban on domestic flights until Sunday, June 7, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic within the country's borders.

The Nigerian government announced on Monday, May 4, that the 24-hour stay-at-home-order in place in Abuja and Lagos would be lifted over a period of six weeks. Selected businesses and offices are allowed to open from 09:00 to 18:00 (local time), so long as they decontaminate workspaces and ensure that social-distancing and hygiene measures are enforced. The wearing of face masks in public is mandatory, while restrictions on social and religious gatherings remain in place; those found in breach of these measures may face prosecution in the form of a fine or imprisonment. Schools and restaurants remain closed until further notice. All interstate passenger travel will be banned until further notice. An overnight curfew from 22:00 to 06:00 remains in effect nationwide, and all movements are prohibited during this period, except for essential services.

Governor of Ogun state Dapo Abiodun announced on May 4 that the lockdown would be extended in the state until Saturday, May 9. Abiodun stated that some measures would be relaxed on Wednesday, May 6, and Friday, May 8, although to which measures Abiodun was referring was not immediately specified. A curfew between 20:00 and 06:00 remains in place, with businesses such as bars, gyms, clubs, and spas still closed.

Business activities can resume for only three days per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) between the hours of 07:00 and 16:00. Businesses must also provide liquid soap and running water, while supermarkets must limit the number of customers in their stores to ten people. According to the governor, businesses found not complying with these measures will be shut down for six months.

As of May 6, the country's airports remain closed, although emergency and essential flights, such as cargo transportation, are allowed to operate.

As of May 6, health authorities have confirmed 2950 cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, including 98 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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