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COVID-19: Travel restrictions had no public health benefit, it disrupted businesses – NCDC DG

Jan 2, 2023

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, has said that the travel restrictions instituted earlier by the federal government to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, had no public health benefit. 


Adetifa in a statement released on Sunday night January 1, said the Nigerian population is significantly protected from a combination of natural infection and vaccination.


He maintained that the travel restrictions impacted negatively on individuals and businesses. The NCDC DG also added that the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) of the agency would continue to review the ongoing COVID-19 situation “over the coming week.”


The statement read; 


“Recent experience in Nigeria with the arrival of omicron showed travel restrictions did not have any public health benefits but were disruptive for persons and businesses. COVID-19 has and continues to follow a different course (epidemiology in Nigeria and most of Africa).

“At the next review and if deemed necessary, a range of actions, not limited to enhanced surveillance of travellers at airports, may be implemented.

“We advise Nigerians to make use of every opportunity the Federal Government has provided via the @NphcdaNG to get vaccinated i.e., receive your primary vaccination which can be two or a single vaccine dose. If you have received two vaccine doses already, go get your booster.

“If you have received one booster dose already, please go get your second booster dose. If you belong in any of the high-risk categories (old age, etc), kindly ensure you adhere to recommended public health safety measures – mask use, hand hygiene and avoiding crowded spaces.”