Nigeria shuts down airports over Covid-19

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari delivers a speech during Democracy Day in Abuja on June 12, 2019. PHOTO | PIUS UTOMI EKPEI | AFP


The Nigerian government on Saturday closed all its airports to international flights as authorities try to contain the further spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

It had earlier shut the airports in Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu but added Lagos and Abuja with effect from March 23.

President Muhammadu Buhari issued the directive on Saturday after 10 new cases were confirmed.

Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire said: “All 10 new cases are Nigerian nationals; nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom. They returned to the country in the past one week; the 10th case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

“The three cases in the FCT are being monitored at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, while the seven new cases in Lagos are being handled at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba. All 10 new cases have mild to moderate symptoms,” he said.


Mr Buhari’s spokesperson Bashir Ahmad indicated that the measure will add to previous decisions made to restrict movement of people or meetings.

The decision followed the one on Friday of shutting down learning institutions, as one of President Buhari’s daughter went into self-isolation on her return from the UK on Thursday.

First Lady Aisha Buhari reported that her daughter’s decision was “based on the advice of the Minister Of Health, Presidential Task force on Covid–19”.

She also added that she has shut down her office for two weeks; essential staff can work from home.

The government placed a travel ban on countries that have recorded over 1,000 cases.

So far, it has 12 confirmed cases with the index one being of an Italian who visited the country on February 27.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

fifteen + seventeen =