Coronavirus: Nigerians are not restricted to travel to China - Lai Mohammed

The Nigerian government has reversed the ban on trips to China following the spread of Coronavirus. 

The ban was lifted after an inter-ministerial meeting held in Abuja on Friday, January 31. 

The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said that a travel advisory is much better than a ban which may seem like stigmatising China


Despite initial warning from the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, that Nigerians should avoid travelling to China, the epicentre of Coronavirus, the federal government on Friday, January 31, said that citizens are free to visit the Asian nation.

The new directive was issued by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday based on some resolutions made after an inter-ministerial meeting held in Abuja, PM News reports.

Mohammed, speaking to journalists, said that a travel advisory is much better than declaring a ban because doing will be the same as stigmatising the country in question.

The minister also said that except Nigerians in the central city of Wuhan indicate interest to return home, the federal government cannot force them to do so.

He added that according to the Nigerian embassy in China, there are about 16 Nigerians in the city and that they are in safe hands.

The minister also said that except Nigerians in the central city of Wuhan indicate interest to return home, the federal government cannot force them to do so.

The minister said: “I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our Embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them. They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home.”

Going forward, he said that there is a great need for public sensitisation of Nigerians on the disease and that those intending to travel to the Asian nation should be very transparent about it.

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Nigerian government issued a red alert on Wednesday, January 29, asking citizens of the country to avoid China at the moment as the dreaded coronavirus spreads across the globe.

The warning got a section of Nigerians including hospital workers in panic mode. The warning was issued by minister Osagie Ehanire in charge of health after the usual federal executive council meeting in Abuja.

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