New COVID-19: FG Rules Out Restricting Travellers From China

THE Federal Government said it has not considered imposing mandatory COVID-19 testing or restrictions on travellers from China until there is a need for it.

The government, however, admitted that Nigeria was at risk of a fresh surge of the virus. It, therefore, advised Nigerians to go for vaccination.

The Coordinator of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Muktar Muhammed, disclosed this to one of our correspondents in Abuja on Thursday.

But virologists warned that there could be a fresh outbreak of the virus in the country.

There are reports that countries are imposing COVID-19 testing and restrictions on visitors from China following Beijing’s announcement that it would remove curbs on overseas travels.

Reports also indicate that there has been a COVID-19 surge in the country, with the nation reporting about 5,000 cases a day, which analysts said were underreported.

Media reports reveal that many hospitals and funeral homes in China are already overwhelmed by worsening COVID-19 even as the government reports just a handful of new deaths from the virus.

Reports also show that China is struggling to keep up with calls for funeral and cremation services

The United States, which imposed mandatory COVID-19 testing on visitors from China, cited a lack of “adequate and transparent” COVID data in China for its decision.

Besides the US, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, and India are among the growing number of countries imposing curbs on travellers from China amid the COVID-19 surge.

The Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus in a statement, said, “We continue to call on China to share the data and conduct the studies we have requested, and which we continue to request.

“As I have said many times before, all hypotheses about the origins of this pandemic remain on the table. At the same time, WHO is very concerned over the evolving situation in China, with increasing reports of severe disease.

“To make a comprehensive risk assessment of the situation on the ground, the WHO needs more detailed information on disease severity, hospital admissions and requirements for intensive care unit support.

“The WHO is supporting China to focus its efforts on vaccinating people at the highest risk across the country, and we continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system.”

The Coordinator and Technical Head of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Muhammed, said the government was not imposing any mandatory test on visitors from China for now.

According to him, the surge in COVID-19 cases in China is predictable after the decision to lift strict rules that kept the virus at bay.

Muhammed however, said “What is happening in China is quite predictable because they are doing what is called the Europe COVID-19 policy and when you do that, suddenly you relax that the number of cases is going to increase.

China constitutes about a quarter of the world’s population and therefore if they open their borders and people are travelling out, there is a high chance that they can export COVID-19. We had a similar situation earlier on with Europe and they were exporting COVID-19 to many parts of the world.

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