Weeks after relaxing its COV I D – 1 9 protocols, the Federal Government has directed that unvaccinated travellers from other countries will be made to get their jabs at the airport to prevent another outbreak of the disease. This decision is coming as a result of an upsurge of the disease in China, Japan, the United States and other countries, coming majorly from the new COVID-19 Omicron sublineage variant XBB.1.5 and BF.7, which the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) insists has yet to be detected in Nigeria.
However, the NCDC recently confirmed that in two weeks 42 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the country between December 31 and January 13, out of which 29 cases were recorded between January 7 and 13. The cases were recorded in Lagos, Edo, Kano, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory. Speaking in Abuja, the Director of Port Health Services, Geoffrey Okatubo, said to prevent the disease, especially new variants, henceforth all travellers arriving in Nigeria must provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination.
He said: “Following the reported Upsurge in the cases of COVID-19, in China, Japan, us and other countries, port health services has continued heightened sur-veillance at our point of entry and also more port health services is to resumed check of travellers vaccination status and we provide traffic data on inbound passengers from all over the world. “All international travellers arriving Nigeria are now to provide their evidence of vaccination at the points of entry and consequently it was agreed that unvaccinated passengers arriving from other countries may have to be vaccinated at the airport.” As of January 20, Nigeria fully vaccinated 65,176,784 persons while 77,070,988 eligible persons have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 10,390,911 persons got the booster doses.