From Elohor Igbru
The Federal Government has faulted the decision of the United Kingdom and other countries including, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and Indonesia to place a travel ban on Nigeria following the discovery of the Omicron Variant of the COVID-19 in the country.
The government however ruled out initiating a similar policy insisting that countries should be collaborating instead of restricting each other over the pandemic.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, also said in a television interview monitored in Abuja that most of the in-bound passengers that tested positive for COVID-19 were from the UK.
The Minister said it is unfortunate, the knee-jerk reaction of some countries to the Omicron strain, noting that even the World Health Organisation had said recently that countries should focus more on collaboration rather than shutting borders.
“At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.
The Minister insisted the Omicron strain could not yet be declared as a deadly strain because no deaths had so far been recorded across the world.
“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.
“We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more that the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.