The Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire while faulting the UK government for banning Nigeria and other African countries over fears of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has said that 50 per cent of the COVID-19 positive arrivals that the country has had are from the UK.
He described the ban as a hasty decision in an interview on Channels Television during a ‘Politics Today’ programme on Sunday.
He said, “We regularly have travellers from the UK that are COVID-19 positive. In fact, within the last two weeks, the COVID-19 positive arrivals were 50 per cent from the UK.
“There is genetic sequencing going on; we shall have the results soon. We do not know how many of them are Omicron variants. But if every country should put other countries on a ban list because there are 21 cases in that country, very soon, you’ll have a large number of countries on your red list.
The health minister stated that there are other ways to go about this COVID-19 variant than banning flights from African countries.
“I believe that there are other ways to go about it, and we in Nigeria don’t regard banning flights and movement of people as particularly helpful,” Ehanire said.
The United Kingdom on Saturday announced that it would add Nigeria to the list of countries on its red list as a result of COVID Omicron cases linked to Nigeria.
The ban, which is effective from today, means only UK residents or citizens of the UK can enter the UK from Nigeria