By Olawale Ajimotokan
The federal government has announced the temporary suspension of the issuance of visa on arrival policy which came into effect in January 2020 as a measure to curb the further spread of COVID-19 into the country.
It also announced a far-reaching restriction of entry into the country by travellers from 13 countries.
The Chairman of Presidential Task Force on the containment COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the restrictions will come into effect from Saturday, March, 21, 2020 and will be for four weeks subject to review.
He said the latest measure, which followed Tuesday’s ban by the Presidential Task Force on public officials and civil servants from overseas travels, was taken after an assessment of the global situation.
Travellers from the countries affected by the federal government restrictions are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.
Mustapha said the listed countries were those with over 1,000 case domestically.
He also stressed that all persons arriving in Nigeria who might have visited these countries, 15 days prior to such arrival, will be subjected to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days.
He urged public health authorities of countries with high burden to conduct diligent departure screening of passengers and also endorse this travel advisories to their nationals to postpone travels to Nigeria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared Coronavirus a pandemic disease.