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FG issues new COVID-19 directives to travelers ahead of yuletide

Ahead of the festive season, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has issued fresh directives to travellers coming into the country.

Passengers arriving in Nigeria are now required to conduct a PCR test, 48 hours before embarking on their trips to the country and another day two and day seven PCR tests on arrival.

They are also expected to self-isolate for seven days.

Outbound passengers on their part will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before departure.

The measures which are expected to come into effect Friday, 3rd of December, 2021, apply to members of the diplomatic corps, the committee said.

This directive is contained in a press statement issued by Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, the National Incident Manager of the PSC, following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron

Dr Mohammad says there are concerns that the variant which experts insist is more deadly could be on its way to Nigeria, considering the number of countries that have already reported cases.

He said the committee will ensure that the directives are enforced through suspension of passports of offenders or their prosecution, or both.

The Committee also revealed it will be increasing its surveillance activities at all ports of entry into the country while also intensifying testing, contact tracing, and sequencing capacity.

”One of the reasons driving COVID-19 persistence and the emergence of a new variant, Omicron, is the promotion of vaccine nationalism, which helps rich countries procure vaccines for their citizens, through direct agreements with pharmaceutical companies, while low and middle countries lag behind.

”The slower and delayed vaccination rollout in low and middle-income countries has left many of the citizens vulnerable to COVID-19 variance. It leads to new surges of infection and also slower rates of recovery,” the statement said.

”Whereas most of the developed countries have already vaccinated over 60% and above of their populations, most developing countries are below 5%. You’ve just heard from ED NPHCDA that we’ve just vaccinated only 6 million with only one job.

”Lack of vaccination in our countries will breed fertile ground for the virus to develop mutations, which will, in turn, threaten progress already recorded. It is therefore important that the developed countries support the efforts that are being made globally to ensure that there is equity and access for vaccines.”

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