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Nigeria, Other African Nations Take First Measure To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus

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African states, including the continent’s biggest economy Nigeria, said they had begun to introduce measures aimed at stopping the spread of the new coronavirus.

 

To date, sub-Saharan Africa has recorded no verified infection. However, other countries have stopped flights to China and airlifted their citizens out of the area where the virus emerged. Nigeria recently issued a travel advisory. It advised “all Nigerians and persons intending to travel to China” to delay their plans unless the trip is “extremely essential.”

 

Nigerian Health Minister Osagie Ehanire advises people arriving from China or any country with a “major outbreak” of the disease to stay at home for at least two weeks if they develop any symptoms. The authorities also require airlines to report any case of sickness on board before the plane lands in Nigeria.

 

The advisory said:

“Nigerian ports, health services, and (the) Nigeria Centre for Disease Control are on alert at our airports and other ports of entry.”

 

 

This comes as Nigerians recently took to Twitter to warn the government to take precaution as Chinese expatriates return to the country from holiday. Using the trending phrase “hundreds of Chinese”, they called for heightened surveillance and checks at the airport to prevent them from importing the virus into the country.

 

 

Although the number of infected Chinese citizens is an exaggeration, Nigerians believe that if travellers from China are given heightened precautionary health checks before being allowed into the country, it would reduce the risk of or stop coronavirus spreading to Nigeria.

 

The small central African state of Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, said it had quarantined four travellers who had arrived from Beijing. The four landed on Tuesday aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight at the airport in the capital of Malabo.

 

On Monday, the prime minister’s office announced that it would place all passengers from China in quarantine for 14 days.

 

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In West Africa, the Chinese embassy in Mauritania said China had asked its nationals who have recently arrived or returned to the country to remain confined for at least 14 days. There was no indication that the message was motivated by any specific situation in Mauritania.

 

Africa to stop coronavirus
Coronavirus outbreak so far

 

The embassy also advised Chinese planning to travel to Mauritania to postpone their trip. It said those already in the country should communicate daily about their health and avoid public gatherings.

 

Experts say the potential spread of the virus in Africa is a concern because of the poor healthcare infrastructure in many parts of the continent. An oil-rich state with an entrenched record of authoritarian rule and poverty, Equatorial Guinea has developed close economic ties with Beijing.

 

Chinese companies have been awarded a string of contracts for infrastructure projects. The Mauritanian government has set up a crisis unit and placed thermal cameras at the airports of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.

 

Many of the Chinese in Mauritania work in technical assistance, Chinese projects and trade operations. However, there are no direct flights between the two countries.

 

As many countries in Africa and across the world take measures to stop the deadly coronavirus, we advise that you take precautionary steps to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and everyone around you.

 

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Source: AFP

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