Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has urged the federal government to immediately ban flights between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Atiku noted in a statement on Sunday that the action has become necessary in view of the health hazards that may result if the new coronavirus strain reported in the UK is imported into Nigeria.
Atiku said the government must take action immediately to avoid a repeat of what happened during the first wave of the COVID-19 virus when Nigeria failed to shut down its borders before the virus penetrated the country.
He warned that Nigeria’s health sector is not sufficiently prepared to handle the impact of another surge in pandemic hence the need to take preventive action before its too late.
The statement reads: “The reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the COVID19 virus is because the Federal Government failed to heed the warnings of well meaning Nigerians, like myself and others, to shut down our borders once the virus became a pandemic.
Hindsight is 20/20. Nevertheless, we must learn from history or we stand the risk of repeating it. The new strain of COVID19 that has erupted in the United Kingdom, and specifically, London, can add to Nigeria’s health emergency if we do not act with an abundance of caution and temporarily halt all flights to and from the UK, until this new strain is brought under control.
Already, prudent nations are taking prompt action, and Nigeria must take necessary precautions, due to the volume of air traffic between Nigerian airports and London, where this new strain has erupted.
We must face the reality that our health sector is not sufficiently prepared to handle a sudden and unpredictable surge of this pandemic. We have already lost lives needlessly. We need not lose more.
In the case of this virus, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The lastest report on the covid-19 status of Nigeria by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) puts the country’s total infection at 77,933, with 67,784 discharged cases.
The figures are according to a Twitter post on Saturday, December 19, 2020.