Nigeria bans all international flights, suspends railway operation as covid-19 cases rise to 22
London, March 22, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Nigerian government has finally suspended all international flights into the country shortly after confirmed cases of coronavirus almost doubled on Saturday.
Similarly, the Board and Management of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), has halted the operations of all passenger trains across the country as part of efforts to curb further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
The nation’s two main airports in Abuja and Lagos will be shut from Monday, the country’s civil aviation regulator, NCAA, announced in a statement Saturday.
In a email by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, NRC, Mr. Yakub Mahmood, the shutdown of the passengers train also takes effect from Monday, March 23, till further notice
The airports, which joins three others in Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt that were also placed on lockdown, will be shuttered for at least one month, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu said.
The closure comes as Nigeria’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose on Saturday from 12 to 22, three of them in Abuja, the capital’s first positive identifications and seven from Lagos, the worst-hit city.
Mr Nuhu said the closure would last through April 23, adding that emergency and essential flights could be operated from any of the airports within the period.
He, however, noted that domestic flight operations would continue normally in all airports in the country.
“Further to our earlier letter on the restriction of international flights into Nigeria, we wish to inform you that effective Monday, 23rd March at 2300Z to 23rd April at 2300Z, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM) and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja (DNAA) will be closed to all international flights,” he said.
“This is in addition to the closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (DNKN); Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu (DNEN); and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa (DNPO) effective Saturday, 21 March at 2300Z.
“Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights.
“Domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports.”
On Saturday, Ghana closed all of its borders, land, sea and air to human traffic in an unprecedented lockdown as part of stringent measures to stop the spread of covid-19 infections
The country’s president, Nana Akufo Addo said in a national TV address that the closure of the borders will be in place for two weeks effective Sunday.