The federal government has faulted the red-listing of Nigeria and other African countries by the United Kingdom over fears of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who described the ban as a hasty decision in an interview on Channels Television, also revealed that over 50% of the COVID-19 positive arrivals that the country has had are from the UK.
When asked how Nigeria was going to react to the ban, the minister said:
“We’re going to have to discuss this at the level of the steering committee. We regularly get travellers from the UK that are COVID-19 positive. In fact, within the last two weeks, the COVID-19 positive arrivals that we had were 50 percent from the UK.
“There is genetic sequencing going on, we shall have the results soon. We don’t know how many of them are really Omicron variants. But if every country were to put other countries on a ban list because there are 21 cases in that country, very soon, you’ll have a large number of countries on your red list. I believe that there are other ways to go about it, and we in Nigeria don’t regard banning flights and movement of people as particularly helpful.”