Hours after Nigeria confirmed local presence of the Omicron strain of Coronavirus, Canada bans Nigerian flights over fears of importation.
Coincidentally, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced last night that the new strain is now in Nigeria.
NCDC traced the three discovered cases to people who recently returned from a trip to South Africa.
Understandably, there were apprehensions today when South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, arrived Abuja hours after the discovery.
Ramaphosa, on a three-day scheduled visit, drove from the airport to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa.
Meanwhile, NCDC confirmed 105 new cases of Covid-19 in Nigeria last night, including one death.
Nigeria has recorded 214,218 cases to date, out of which 207,304 (97%) survived.
A total of 2,977 deaths occured in Nigeria since the pandemic made a landfall on 28 February 2020.
The 105 new cases came from Lagos (43), Gombe (21), FCT (16), Niger (10), Rivers(6), Plateau(5), Edo(2), Bauchi(1), and Kano(1).
Canada bans flights
In a second wave of sweeping bans yesterday, Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi joined seven other African countries banned by Ottawa.
The ban affects foreigners who transited or stayed in the 10 African countries in the last two weeks, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a press conference.
The new rule requires air travelers, save those arriving from the United States, to test for Covid-19 at their point of entry.
It does not matter “whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated,” Duclos said.
He added that all travelers need to isolate until their test results are available.
The Canadian Government is taking preemptive measures over fears of Omicron strain of Coronavirus.
The world believes that the variant originates from South Africa, hence the targeted flight bans on countries from the continent.
Govt of Canada bans Nigerian flights over Omicron fears