NIGERIA has categorized into three (3), classes of inbound international travelers following the declaration of the Coronavirus outbreak as a Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria’s travel policy in response to the COVID-19 outbreak states that all travelers to Nigeria will be screened on entry, regardless of country of travel origin.
Thermal cameras will be used to detect fever on entry. Screening forms will be used to collect travel history, contact details of the passenger and next of kin.
The NCDC also highlighted that the following additional steps to be taken for travelers in the three categories which they classified as (Category 1)countries with ongoing community transmission, (Category 2) countries with at least one confirmed case/isolated community transmission and (Category 3) countries with no confirmed case.
The NCDC in classifying these cases stated on Category 1 that, “All travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy to Nigeria are strongly advised to self-isolate at home, even if asymptomatic. They will be followed up by for 14 days by NCDC and Port Health Services. If they become symptomatic, they are advised to call NCDC toll-free on 080097000010
Category 2 according to the NCDC consists of countries with at least one confirmed case/isolated community transmission and advised that,” All travelers from countries with at least one confirmed case do not need to undertake any special measures immediately. If they develop symptoms, they should self-isolate at home immediately and call NCDC on 080097000010”
The NCDC said on Category 3, countries with no confirmed cases that,” all travelers to Nigeria should maintain a high level of personal and respiratory hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol based hand sanitiser, maintain at least 2 metres distance from anyone coughing or sneezing, stay informed on how to protect yourself using resources developed by NCDC, WHO and other health authorities.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterised as a pandemic.
The WHO defines a pandemic as global spread of a new disease. The term is most often applied to new influenza strains and used when viruses “are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way” in multiple regions.
The declaration refers to the spread of a disease, rather than the severity of the illness it causes.
The WHO chief said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it.
“COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. Pandemic is not a word to be used lightly or carelessly.
“This is not just a public health crises, it is a crisis that will touch every sector.
“So every sector and every individual must be involved in the fights,” said Ghebreyesus at a media briefing in Geneva.
He said he expected the number of cases and deaths would grow in the coming days and weeks.
“We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus,” he said.
He also said hard-hit Iran was trying its best to control the outbreak but needed more supplies.