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Omicron: FG to set Proactive Measures for Covid prevention in Nigeria

The federal government has stated that it will issue a new travel protocol on Tuesday as a proactive measure to avoid the Omicron COVID variant from being brought into Nigeria.

The National Incident Manager of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Mukhtar Muhammad, made the statement on Monday at a media briefing in Abuja.

South Africa detected the index case of Omicron on November 23 and the World Health Organisation (WHO) subsequently designated Omicron as a “variant of concern”, asking world leaders to take steps to curb its spread.

Muhammad stated that there has been global concern about the Omicron variant and apprehension that it could be spread to Nigeria.

He said although no case of the variant has been detected in Nigeria, the PSC has taken “far-reaching proactive measures to minimise and mitigate this possibility”.

“Consequently, the PSC will be issuing a travel guideline document tomorrow, but let me highlight the contents of this travel guideline,” he said.

“Passengers arriving the country are required to do a PCR test 48 hours before departing. They will also do day two and day seven PCR tests on arrival and they will be required to self-isolate for seven days.

“Passengers that are outbound, going out of Nigeria, will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before departure. These conditions apply to diplomats as well. The measures will come into effect by Friday, 3rd of December, 2021.

“The PSC will ensure that there is enforcement of passengers who arrive and refuse to take test through suspension of their passports and prosecution, or both. Furthermore, we’ll be increasing our surveillance at the ports of entry into the country, intensify testing and contact tracing, and optimize sequencing capacity.”

Various countries including the UK, US and Germany have placed travel restrictions on travelers from Southern Africa.

The Indonesian government, on Sunday, stated that it will place a ban on travelers from eight African countries — including Nigeria.