Officials monitor thermal scanners as passengers walk past upon arrival of a flight into Lagos, Nigeria January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja/File Photo
ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria is to extend a ban on all flights by four weeks as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a government official told reporters on Wednesday.
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, said Thursday would mark the last day for the enforcement of the current ban.
“The ban on all flights will be extended for an additional four weeks,” Mustapha told reporters at a regular briefing of a presidential task force on coronavirus in the capital, Abuja.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika later told the briefing there was a need to train airline staff in safety measures before flights restarted.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has 2,950 confirmed cases and 98 deaths. Lockdown restrictions were eased on Monday in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, and the capital, Abuja.
Mustapha said an early assessment of the eased restrictions suggested Nigerians were underestimating the virulent nature of the disease. He pointed to non-compliance with social distancing measures and the sharing of face masks.
Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Alison Williams.