By Abujah Racheal
Worried by raising cases of COVID-19 pandemic in India and Brazil, the Presidential Steering Committee, (PSC) on COVID-19, has advised Nigerians to avoid travelling to countries currently witnessing the third wave.
The PSC Coordinator, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, gave the advice at the committee’s national briefing on Monday in Abuja.
Muhammad said: “While we continue to open the economy, we must also be aware of the happenings around the globe, specifically incidences in India, Turkey, Brazil, and also South Africa.
“We sympathise with the people of these countries, because it is really a very trying time, particularly for India, that is recording over 300, 000 cases a day, and over two thousand deaths. It is not easy.
“India is a prime destination for medical tourism for Nigeria. We know that many Nigerians like to travel to India, but now we see the situation that the country has found itself.
“We urge Nigerians to limit all their travellings, particularly to those affected countries.
“We will continue to urge Nigerians to also comply with the public health measures that are in place, and continue to ensure that we comply with the regulations.”
On preparation for reopening of Enugu and Port Harcourt International airports, the coordinator said: “It is important to note that while we are opening these international flights, there is also a risk.
“That is, the risk of importation of additional cases into the country. We have to balance the economy with also public health.
“This calls for increased vigilance on our side, from the Federal Ministry of Health to the Port Health Authority, the state governments, public healthcare departments, and the Nigeria Centres for Disease Control.
“We should continue to manage our borders and ensure that people that come into this country, are either COVID-19 negative, or they are safe to pass into our communities.
“The state governments have been of tremendous assistance. They have all collaborated with us, particularly the government of Rivers State, and also the Government of Enugu.
“They are providing quarantine facility, which will be used for passengers who do not comply with this protocol.
“And, they are also providing additional security, as well as logistics for transportation to convey passengers from the airport to the quarantine facility.”
On the forthcoming Salah celebration, he advised the Muslims to remember that COVID- 19 is still here with us.
Muhammad said: “Let us remember that COVID-19 is still here with us, and we have to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that we remain safe and also protect our loved ones.
“We must continue to use face masks in public places. We must continue to ensure that we avoid overcrowding.”