Omicron: FG faults UK’s red listing of Nigeria

The Federal Government has faulted the immigration red listing of Nigeria by the UK government, due to rising cases of the Omicron covid-19 variant, urging that a common approach globally is needed to fight the newer variants.

This was disclosed by Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

The minister added that Nigeria on its own part will increase the sequencing of cases, and also has not recorded or noticed a dramatic increase in covid infections.

What the Minister is saying

While speaking on the matter, Ehanire said, “I believe all countries should come together to take a common approach, and that includes the UK and other countries that are contemplating Red Lists and so on.

“We did do something with red lists in the past and the experience so far shows that it may be better to be more clinical and surgical about how we put countries in red lists and if there is any need for it, we should not be too much in a haste to create list of that nature.”

He added that what is known of the SARS COV-2, is that it goes around the world somehow with all the variants, beginning with ancestral variants, including the alpha to delta variants.

“Right now Omicron is going around the world, and begins to surface in other countries. A combined response is better than individual hasty responses,

“I think the WHO is doing a lot to provide that guidance. In Nigeria, we are looking strictly at those who are coming into the country. Now we require tests of a maximum 48 hours before you start your flight to Nigeria, and we are going to increase and sequence we are doing in Nigeria,” he said.

Ehanire also added that Nigeria has not recorded any dramatic increase in share numbers of covid-19 infections and no cases of hospitalisation and no reason for concern, and that is why the FG has decided to take a watchful wait in posture.

What you should know

Recall Nairametrics reported earlier that the United Kingdom had imposed a travel restriction on citizens of Nigeria. This was disclosed by the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, via his official Twitter account.

Last week also,  Singapore and Canada slammed travel bans on Nigeria following the discovery of the new strain of the virus.


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