Nigeria to suspend international flights due to COVID-19 pandemic

Nigeria is one of 40 Africa countries that have reported COVID-19 cases. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority hopes the closure of airports to international flights will help contain the fight against COVID-19. /PHOTO: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria – Twitter

Nigeria has stopped international flights into the country effective Monday 23 March 2020, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The West African nation is the latest country in Africa to suspend flights as the continent continues to record more COVID-19 cases.

At least 40 African countries have reported cases of the disease, with the total figures surpassing 1,000.

“All airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights,” the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said in a statement on Saturday.

The move comes after Nigeria announced 10 new cases of COVID-19 taking its toll to 22. One patient has however recovered.

NCAA also ordered all flights coming into Nigeria to submit a passengers health report prior to landing.

As Nigeria battles the COVID-19 outbreak, President Muhammadu Buhari’s government pledged a review of the 2020 budget to prioritize the health sector to respond to the threats posed by the disease.

“The Presidency wishes to assure Nigerians that government is on top of the COVID-19 situation. There is no cause for panic. So far, measures put in place are working efficiently,” a Saturday statement from the Presidency read in part.