The Federal Government has disclosed that Swedish and Austrian nationals, as well as other passengers from the European countries, will be made to undergo coronavirus tests before being allowed into Nigeria.

The addition of Sweden and Austria to the list of high-risk coronavirus countries has brought the number to 15 countries.

Nigeria had earlier placed travel restrictions on travellers from 13 countries with high-risk of coronavirus.

They are the United States, Britain, China, Japan, Iran, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, France, South Korea, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said travellers arriving in Nigeria could book hotel rooms to self-isolate for 14 days if they had no place to do so without having contact with people.

He said this would reduce the chances of infecting their family members and other people around them.

The Minister also said that it was still a puzzle that the American who died in Ekiti State had no symptoms of the virus while his driver had been diagnosed with COVID-19. He noted that the caregiver of the American also returned negative when diagnosed, wondering if the driver had contacted the virus elsewhere apart from the American that hired him.

Ehanire said, “Nigeria is experiencing an influx of imported COVID-19 cases by travellers, including returning Nigerians. This emphasises the importance of self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days, even if you feel well. Eight of the 12 cases are travellers from Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and France. Three cases are contacts of imported cases and one case confirmed yesterday (Thursday) has no travel history in the last one month, but may have met with foreign visitors.

“To reduce the risk of new cases entering Nigeria, the government, through the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Coronavirus announced a ban on entry for travellers from 13 known high-risk countries.

“For better control of new arrivals, international travel to Nigeria has been temporarily limited to only to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“Port Health services will be strengthened at these airports. Other airports shall be closed to international traffic. These decisions will be reviewed as the situation demands.

“According to our national case definition, we have identified two more high-risk countries – Austria and Sweden – who were added in the last 24 hours.

“We are also including COVID-19 testing in our routine surveillance for influenza-like illness.”

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