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COVID-19: Federal Government considers travel ban from UK

The federal government has announced the possibility of banning flights from the UK and other parts of the world.

A mutated strain of COVID-19 virus has been discovered in the UK and from initial reports, it is difficult to detect and it spreads more quickly than the common strain. 

Some European countries like Belgium, France, Latvia have placed a restriction on flights from the UK. 

While responding to questions seeking the federal government’s plans on the discovery of the new strain, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed explained the possibility at a Special Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday. 

The Minister who is a member of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said that the mutating strain will be the subject of the team’s meeting. 

“We are more concerned about the new strain of COVID-19 which is manifesting itself in the UK; that is the mutated strain.

“It is difficult to detect, it spreads faster and people have been known to die of it within a very short period of its detection.

“This is a major concern to us as a country.

“While I do not want to pre-empt the PTF because we are meeting this afternoon, it is going to be top on the agenda of our discussions.

“I will not be surprised if that will be the recommendation of the committee which is meeting later today,’’ he said

The Minister said that banning the flights may not be an easy step for the government because many Nigerians have ties with the UK.  But it will not hesitate once the step becomes necessary. 

The Minister continued, “This season, many students are coming from the UK in particular, to come and join their families in Nigeria.

“Besides, many of our people, because of the traditional link we have with the UK, may want to go there for business or family reunion.

“It is a very testy time and it might be another dangerous period to transmit this new variant of COVID-19.”

Mr. Mohammed also urged Nigerians to keep up with the PTF COVID-19 prevention guidelines that include the use of face masks, compliance with social distancing protocols and regular washing of hands with soap and water.

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