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Abuja’s Tit-for-Tat Stance on Travel Bans

Nigeria plans to ban flights from Argentina, Britain, Canada and Saudi Arabia from this week in retaliation for being added to those countries’ red lists over the detection of the Omicron coronavirus variant last month. Several countries have restricted the movement of people from some African nations since the Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong. It has since spread to at least 57 countries. In recorded comments shared with journalists on Sunday, Nigeria’s aviation minister Hadi Sirika said he had recommended that the four countries should be placed on a COVID-19 “red list,” which would entail a ban on flights. Britain was the first country to announce a travel “red list”, which Nigeria has described as unjust and unfair. The World Health Organization has said countries should apply an “evidence-informed and risk-based approach” when deciding on travel measures related to Omicron, including possible screening or quarantine of international passengers, adding that blanket bans do not prevent its spread.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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