COVID-19: PSC revises international travel protocol amid Omicron scare

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The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has reviewed the country’s International travel protocol amid the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus, “Omicron”.

The PSC Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this in a statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

Mustapha said that the revised protocol is aimed at further reducing the risk of importation and exportation of COVID-19, especially the variant of concern.

He assured Nigerians that it would continue to monitor global and specific country situations with a view to taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of Nigerians.

Mustapha, also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), called on Nigerians to ensure they that they take full dose of COVID-19 vaccines and continue to observe compliance to public health measures.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.

The new variant has sparked global concerns due to fears it may spread faster and be resistant to vaccines, following its discovery in South Africa.

Omicron was first detected in Europe in Belgium on Nov. 27. Other European countries, including Germany, Italy and the U.K., have confirmed cases. Australia also reported cases on Nov 28.

The European Union on Nov. 27, moved to ban travel from seven Southern African countries.

Other nations, including the U.S. and U.K., are adopting similar moves. Israel late Saturday went further, imposing a two week travel band for all non-residents.

Similarly, the government of Canada has also stated that it discovered two cases of the variant from two passengers from Nigeria.

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