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Coronavirus: Airline Want International Flights Restricted to Lagos, Abuja Airports Only

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The airline operators are calling on the federal government to restrict international flights to two airports for proper scrutiny of a potential carrier of coronavirus disease.

This according to them is to complement the ban on flights from 13 countries.

The operators, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), promised to abide by the Federal Government’s decision to restrict foreign nationals of countries that have been confirmed to have over 100 cases of the covid-19. They include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

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After reviewing the global spread at their meeting with aviation regulatory bodies, the stakeholders were unanimous that the Federal Government needed to be more proactive to prevent a major crisis in Nigeria.

The position was on the heels of more drastic control measures already taken by African countries like Ghana, Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, Guinea, Angola, Morocco, Tanzania, and South Africa that have earlier restricted flight operations from covid-19 endemic countries.

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AON Chairman, Capt. Nogie Meggison, said Nigeria was about the only country in Africa yet to take decisive action in putting in place strict measures to stop the inflow of the virus into our shores.

“We can say for sure that if the situation escalates in Nigeria other countries of the world would not hesitate to stop us from flying into their country. We would like to appeal to the government to stand tall by putting Nigeria first at this time and take immediate action by restricting travel into Nigeria,” Meggison said.

He further said reducing entry points into the country to Lagos and Abuja airports only will allow for effective deployment of critical medical support staff and utilisation of thermal scanners and other resources as well as promote proper monitoring of those entering the country.

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He, therefore, called for an immediate action to reduce the number of entry points into the country so as to be able to effectively control the influx of people into the country, as AON members are willing to offer their services to distribute travellers around the country from the two entry points.

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