Coronavirus: FG confirms 10 new cases, bans international flights


President Muhammadu Buhari: Orders closure of international airports

The federal government on Saturday announced 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 22.

This is just as the federal government announced Saturday, the closure of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to curb the spread of the pandemic.

According to a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the new cases were confirmed in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos State.

He said that of the ten new cases, three were confirmed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and seven in Lagos State.

“This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 22,” he said.

Dr. Ehanire also disclosed that all ten new cases are Nigerian nationals. Nine of them have travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

He said all the patients returned to the country in the past week.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, more work to do as the number of affected persons rise

Meanwhile, the 10th case, he said, is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

This implies that Nigeria has recorded just one case of Covid-19 in a foreign national. However, most of the cases have been imported from Europe and the U.K.

Of the 10 new cases, 3 are in the Federal Capital Territory and 7 are in Lagos

Nine out of the 10 cases have travel history outside Nigeria in the last one week. The 10th case is a close contact of a confirmed case/


The health minister said “the three cases in the FCT are being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, while the 7 (seven) new cases in Lagos are being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba”.

He said all 10 new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving treatment.

He said the federal government remains committed to working with states to provide optimal care for all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

Travel restrictions

As of March 21, 22 cases have been confirmed, with two of the cases discharged. There has been no death from COVID-19 in Nigeria.

So far, 19 cases were imported while three are contacts of people who came into the country. Nigeria is yet to report any local transmission.

Nigeria, as of Friday, had restricted travel from 15 countries with high coronavirus cases.

The affected countries are; China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, United States of America, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden.

The travel restriction commenced on March 21.

The travel restrictions are expected to limit the number of imported cases into the country.

Contact tracing

As the country records more cases from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it has become imperative for the government to intensify contact tracing to identify those who might have been in contact with the confirmed cases.

As such, the minister said the Port Health Services has heightened screening at all air, land and sea points of entry into Nigeria and adapted the protocols to reflect the travel guidance issued by the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Coronavirus.

He said the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) supported by partners will continue to coordinate response activities and strengthen preparedness capacity across states nationwide.

Dr. Ehanire said an intensive national risk communications campaign is also ongoing, to inform Nigerians about COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Nigerians are advised to avoid public gatherings, maintain good personal hygiene and visit the hospital when they fall ill.

Nigeria to Shutdown Lagos, Abuja Airports as Lagos Reduces Public Gathering to 20
As the cases of coronavirus jumps from 12 to 22, the Federal Government has announced closure of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, effective from Monday, March 23.

International travelers take a break

The planned shutdown was contained in a statement signed Saturday by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu.

The statement indicated that the closure of international flight operations at the Lagos and Abuja airports were in addition to the three other international airports in Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt closure for flight operations.

According to Capt Nuhu, the closure would last till April 23, noting that emergency and essential flights could be operated from any of the airports within the period.

However, the NCAA boss clarified that domestic flight operations would continue in all airports in the country.

Meanwhile, in furtherance to its earlier move, the Lagos State Government has banned all religious and social gathering with over 20 people.

The latest announcement contradicted the earlier which reduced the number of people at the public gathering to 50.

The State Government announced the new move on its Facebook page after new 22 cases of coronavirus – also called Covid-19 were recorded in the country Saturday.

The message urged Lagos residents to adhere to the new directive.
Meanwhile, the first and index case as well as the second, were both discharged on Friday.


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