While Nigeria is battling the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, virology professor Oyewale Tomori has called on the federal government to ban all flights from the UK and other countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases.
No less than 40 countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritius, have suspended travel from Britain in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of the new strain COVID-19.
Tomori, who is chairman of the COVID-19 Review Committee, said Nigeria has not yet banned passengers from Britain because government officials want to travel to the UK which has become one of the main destinations of the Nigerian elite.
“The reason is because great people think of themselves. ‘Oh, I want to go to London. My children want to come home. ‘ That is why they are putting the whole country in danger, “Tomori said on Wednesday.
He spoke in the PUNCH Online interview program, Round table.
Furthermore, the health expert said that overcrowded health facilities in Nigeria do not have the capacity for more people infected with COVID-19.
He said, “Our health systems cannot curb the problem that will come if new cases are imported. Those countries that ban have their reasons for banning. It is now up to us to analyze our situation. First, we don’t even know how many people came to the country, because our system doesn’t test it quickly.
“Those countries from which (travelers) came, they test almost every day to know:” How many people come from Britain? How many people have this type of infection? ‘In Nigeria we do not have such information because our system is two years late.
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“In Nigeria, tomorrow we are planning what happened yesterday, other countries are planning yesterday what will happen tomorrow. That happens to us. “
Tomori said the government should identify high-risk countries and put a temporary ban on them.
He said, “I’m not going to say make a complete ban, but I’d rather suggest three Ts – targeted, time-limited and back. What do I mean by that? We know certain areas where the problem is and we know the season when we have an increase in people from those places. For that period, I will limit the people coming from those areas.
“We already have it here, but we don’t want it anymore, because if more comes into the country, can we deal with it? Therefore, let’s limit the people who come in from there for a while. “
The professor, who further stated that members of the Nigerian elite will most likely violate the travel ban, challenged the government to resolutely address the conflicting members of the ruling class in order to guarantee public health security.
“Regardless of the ban, some great people will continue to enter with their private planes and violate all regulations, but then we cannot because these criminals do not protect people. “We will continue to ban and ensure that all those who break the rules are taken care of,” Tomori said.