The federal government has added passengers from South Africa to the list of countries restricted for travellers due to the surge in the country’s COVID-19 cases.

In May, the federal government had banned passengers from Brazil, India, and Turkey due to global surge in COVID-19 cases.

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), said this on Monday during a media briefing of the presidential steering committee (PSC) in Abuja.

He said that South Africa recorded over 100,000 cases in the last one week while 20,000 was recorded in the last 24 hours.

“The four major variants of concern are now classified as Alpha (UK), Beta (SA), Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India),” he said.

“The Delta variant which has wreaked devastating havoc is not yet found in Nigeria hence the need to tighten our borders and be more vigilant. The WHO Country Representative and the DG NCDC will elaborate on this and the measures for mitigating a potential third wave.”

Mustapha, who serves as the committee chairman, said the federal government also extended restrictions to travellers from Brazil, Turkey, and India for another four weeks.

He said the restrictions would be reviewed after four weeks.

“A few weeks ago, we announced additional measures to be met by passengers arriving from Brazil, Turkey and India. This action was due to the prevalence of variants of concern and the dangers associated with the importation of such virulent strain,” he added.

“The PSC has been reviewing these restrictions and is of the opinion that they should remain for another four weeks before it is further reviewed. South Africa has, however, been added to this category once more.”

He noted that the PSC would continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in African countries, including South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda.

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