COVID-19: South Africans will use Nigeria as transit point— Lawmaker warns

The new travel restrictions against South Africa by the United States and other countries will turn Nigeria into a transit point, Henry Nwawuba, a member of the House of Representatives from Imo State, has said.

Mr Nwawuba said Nigeria risks the spread of the Omicron variant if urgent steps are not taken to check those coming into the country.

He said this while speaking on a motion moved by Dachung Bagos during plenary on Tuesday.

It would be recalled that following the discovery of the omicron variant of COVID-19, several countries have instituted travel restrictions against South Africa and some of her neighbours.

Mr Nwawuba, who is the Chairman Committee on legislative agenda, said Nigeria must take all necessary measures against the spread of the new variant.

“Travelers from South Africa will start using Nigeria as a transit point. It is just a matter of time before the global shutdown gets to Nigeria,” the lawmaker said.

He noted that the Infectious Diseases bill would have helped to provide guidelines to deal with this new variant if Nigerians had not rejected it.

Consequently, the House resolved that the Ministry of Health should provide a strategy to deal with the Omicron variants.

The House also tasked the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure intensive observation and check on travel protocols for inbound passengers;

It mandated the NCDC to step up its national response to control the emergence and spread of the new variant in order to spare Nigeria the full brunt of the third wave of the pandemic.

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