Human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN),
Femi Falana, has called on the federal government to make it mandatory for persons arriving in Nigeria from China to produce negative COVID test results.
Recall that China said it will scrap its quarantine measures for inbound travellers from January 8.
Subsequently, countries began to impose travel restrictions on travellers arriving from China, while on December 28, about 50 percent of passengers on two flights arriving Italy from China reportedly tested positive for COVID.
Amid the development, the federal government had said there was no reason yet to impose restrictions on travellers arriving from China.
But Falana in a statement warned of the consequences of not adopting preventive measures as other countries, especially in the face of China’s recent easing of restrictions.
He said the “rickety” state of Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system makes it a matter of urgency to prevent another COVID outbreak.
“It is public knowledge that there has been a COVID-19 surge in China in the last few weeks,” he said.
“The Chinese authorities have been reporting about 5,000 cases a day. Some analysts have said that the crisis has been underreported by the Chinese government.
“The development has compelled many countries to impose restrictions on passengers arriving from China. As usual, the federal government has not adopted any measure to prevent the spread of the dangerous disease through travellers arriving in Nigeria from China.
“In view of the rickety health care delivery system in the country, the federal government should, as a matter of urgency, make it mandatory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from China to produce a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than two days prior to departure.
“A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. The government should not wait until the nation’s healthcare is overwhelmed by the pandemic before taking the necessary scientific steps to prevent another upsurge of coronavirus infection.”