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Covid-19: Nigeria bans flights from four countries as reciprocal measures

Monday, 13 December 2021 17:14
Covid-19: Nigeria bans flights from four countries as reciprocal measures

(Ecofin Agency) - Since the Omicron variant was detected, some foreign partners have placed several African countries on a red list, isolating them from international traffic. In response to this "injustice," Nigeria is planning retaliatory measures.

Hadi Sirika (pictured), the Nigerian Minister for Aviation, announced on Sunday the Federal government will suspend flights from Britain, Canada, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia.

The measure, which will be implemented this week, comes in retaliation to similar measures that have targeted Abuja in recent days. “We recommend that those countries, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina be also put on the red list, just like they did similarly to us,” Hadi Sirika said, stressing that “once they are on the red list, which means they are banned, their airlines will also be banned.

Many African countries (Nigeria included) were placed on the red list of several European and American countries since the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa in late November. This prompted the reaction of leaders on the continent, including South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegal's Macky Sall, who called for an end to sanctions that are "unfair" to the continent. This new variant has been confirmed in more than 50 countries worldwide. Although there are still concerns about its rapid spread, initial analyses indicate that the symptoms caused are milder. According to WHO, closing borders is not a solution to the issue.

Let's note that Africa remains the continent least affected by the covid-19 pandemic; 8.8 million cases have been officially reported on the continent, with 224,813 deaths (Africa CDC).

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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