Coronavirus: Taskforce to decide on travel bans as Nigeria confirms third Covid-19 case

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing on the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria
File photo of the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing on the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria

The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (Covid-19) will meet in Abuja on Tuesday to discuss how to stop the spread of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

The committee is expected to decide whether the government should ban flights into Nigeria from high-risk countries or gathering at social activities and festivals.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the committee will meet for the first time later on Tuesday for the discussion.

The committee was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari last week to spearhead the coordination of anti-Covid-19 activities in the country.

The committee’s meeting will be coming on the heels of the new confirmed case of the virus in Lagos.

Heading the committee is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha. There are 11 other members.


Mr Ehanire said it is necessary for the committee to discuss measures needed to reduce the influx of suspected cases into the country.

He said the federal government will make further announcements later Tuesday on the decisions of the committee.

He said the government was yet to state its stands on the restriction of travellers from high-risk countries or ban of mass gatherings.

Mr Ehanire also said there are no new regulations on if the government will be officially quarantining people coming into the country or continue with the existing advice of self-isolation (quarantine).

“With regard to banning flights into Nigeria or social activities and festivals, I will provide an update after the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus, scheduled for later today, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“Any new decisions will be transmitted later today,” he said.


Nigeria is one of the countries which have reported at least a case of the Covid-19 since it was detected in Wuhan, China in December.

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As at the time of this report, Nigeria now has three confirmed cases of the disease.

Two of the cases were imported into the country and the third was a contact person of the index case.

Mr Ehanire said the latest case is a Nigerian national in her 30s, who returned from a short visit to the UK on March 13.

He said the woman had been diligent in observing 14-day self-isolation and is not expected to have been in contact with lots of people.

He said intensive contact tracing had begun to help identify all persons who the patient had been in contact with since her return.

“We expect the number to be small, because of her sensible decision to go into self-isolation from the time of her arrival,” the minister said about the latest patient.

He urged Nigerians to continue taking precautions to protect themselves and their families from the virus.

Coronavirus factsheet


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