Nigeria shuts Lagos, Abuja international airports as COVID-19 cases rise

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Nigeria has shut the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja for one month effective Monday,23 March 2020 at 11 pm till April 23 at 11 pm. They will be closed to all international flights.

The order was announced by the Federal Civil Aviation Authority, (FCAA), Saturday just as Africa’s largest economy announced 10 more confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 22.

Only emergency and essential flights will be allowed into the airport, Captain Musa Nuhu, CEO of (NCAA), said in a memo to all airline operators in the country. “Domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports,” he said.

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Nigeria had Thursday announced effective today the closure of three other international airports Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa and restricted flights from 15 countries China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

The ban will affect about 30 foreign airlines flying into Nigeria’s airspace.

The first coronavirus case in Nigerian soil is an Italian male, who arrived Lagos on a Turkish Airways flight. He has recovered after treatment and presently tests negative, officials said. Another case has also been treated and discharged.

So far, Lagos has 16 confirmed cases, while Abuja, the nation’s capital has three cases. Ogun state has 2 while and Ekiti one confirmed case.

All ten new cases are Nigerian nationals and nine of them have a travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire said Saturday.

Official reports that at least 1300 persons have been placed on surveillance as on Friday.

The federal and many state governments have shut schools while some companies have directed staff to work from home for safety.

Lagos Friday shut all nightclubs, bars, social and public events as well as religious gatherings to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

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