COVID-19: Travel Ban and the Need for more measures, palliatives, Nigerians reacts
Corona Virus otherwise known as Covid-19 is causing huge global panic. So far, economic, political and social activities are crumbling to their foundation without a known remedy in the shortest possible time.
Most international program have been cancelled leading to financial loss with its impact mostly felt on the economic front. The preparation for these global events are a huge cost to organizers and individuals both at national and international levels.
It will be very recalled that the due to the evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and growing health concerns, the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed that the 2020 Spring Meetings will transition to a virtual format. As a result, Spring Meetings registration for all categories has been suspended.
During the annual Spring Meetings, the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee hold meetings to discuss progress on the work of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings and press conferences, focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets. This event was scheduled for April 13 to 17, 2020.
Precisely, on Tuesday, the Federal Government of Nigeria through its Ministry of Sports and Youth Development cancelled the National Sports Festival christened Edo 2020. This, national sporting event is expected to receive well over 11,000 athletes from the 36 states and FCT to compete for laurels in Benin City, capital of Edo State.
Sadly, the sports festival was scheduled to take place from March 22 to April 1, 2020 with Ministry sources saying preparation for the tournament has started two years ago with the renovation of sporting facilities in collaboration with the Edo State government. Since winning the hosting right, the state government swinged into action with preparation and renovation with facilities and contracting various vendors to ensure a successful hosting.
Also, several countries have placed travel ban as a precautionary measure bto halt the the spread of the virus. European Union leaders announced they were closing off at least 26 countries — with more than 400 million people — to nearly all visitors from the rest of the world for at least 30 days. European Union citizens, permanent residents, medical professionals and scientists are exempt, though some countries were asking those returning home to self-isolate for two weeks.
The United States is temporarily closing its border with Canada, a decision that was mutual, President Trump announced via Twitter saying “Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
The European Union instituted a 30-day ban on nonessential travel to at least 26 European countries from the rest of the world, adding to the list of countries and territories across the globe that in recent days have imposed strict travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Here in Nigeria, the Federal Government has announced restriction on entries into the country from 13 high-risk countries with the Coronavirus. These countries include : China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France Germany, Noway, USA, United kingdom, Switzerland and Netherlands.
According to the statement, these restrictions will come into effect from Saturday, 21st March, 2020 for four weeks, subject to review while saying it is temporarily suspending the issuance of all visas on arrival.
It gave other stringent measures to travellers that all persons arriving in Nigeria who might have visited these countries, fourteen days prior to such arrival, will be subjected to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days. Calling on Public Health Authorities of countries with high burden to conduct diligent departure screening of passengers and also endorses this travel advisories to their nationals to postpone travels to Nigeria.
With these measures in place by the federal government, our correspondent sought the opinion of respondents on this travel restrictions and its impact on the country. The respondents noted that more proactive measures should be put in place to address issue among the public.
Daniel Nwokedi, a brand strategist and printer who resides in Asokoro area of the Federal Capital Territory said it is a commendable moves by the federal government to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.
According to Nwokedi, It is a welcome development because globally, nations that are more advanced than Nigeria also have restrictions on foreign travels stressing that countries like the US, we are told ban about 23 countries from coming into their country and most of these countries are European and powerful.
He said, “The virus is discovered in powerful countries and Nigeria being a third-world country, not advanced and lack of preparedness to handle the epidemic, it is wise to put a hold on foreign travels.
“However, there are other measures that the federal government should put in place urgently. It is not just the usual advert for campaign but provision of preventive kits for primary healthcare facilities. These kits are for people that cannot afford the luxury of getting hand sensitizers or constantly getting access to detergent to wash their hands.
“The education on the virus should not end in the media because it is not everybody that will understand what is being broadcast on the media. The sensitization should go down to the grassroots with detailed explanation what the virus is all about and the various preventive measures.
“I will also advocate that the campaign should not send fear to the heart of people but should be delivered in a manner to eliminate fear. It should come with assurance that with the right measures the virus can be addressed and efforts are on the way to get solutions”, Nwokedi noted.
In another rare view, Mr. Dan, a civil contractor poised that the coronavirus have different sides which will help our leaders to remain in the country. He differs from the opinion of Mr. Nwokedi that if the virus will make our leaders not to travel out, it should be remain.
“What are they looking for abroad, there was a Head of State, Late Sani Abacha who never travelled out of this country. They should remain in the country and develop it.
On the other hand, he said if any person with the virus comes into the country, the person and the virus will perish. Sounding religious, Mr. Dan said it is an assurance God has given to Nigerians because it cannot survive in Nigeria.