New COVID-19 Strain: Ban Flights From UK, Atiku Advises FG

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Sunday urged the Federal Government to act ‘fast and now’ to prevent Nigerians from recording avoidable casualties as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits the world.

He advised Federal Government to emulate the European countries by banning flights from the United Kingdom.

Abubakar said this in a statement titled: ‘An Ounce of Prevention Is Better Than a Pound of Cure’, which he signed in Abuja, on Sunday.

Read Also: Britain Says New COVID-19 Strain ‘Out Of Control’

He gave the warning following reports of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, which is said to be “out of control” and “highly infectious”.

The new development has forced many European countries like Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Romania, The Netherlands and Belgium to beef up measures against the new variant of COVID-19 by banning international flights to and from UK.

Read Also: European Countries Ban UK Flights Over New COVID-19 Strain

The 2015 presidential aspirant expressed;

We must face the reality that our health sector is not sufficiently prepared to handle a sudden and unpredictable surge of this pandemic. We have already lost lives needlessly. We need not lose more.

Already, prudent nations are taking prompt action, and Nigeria must take necessary precautions, due to the volume of air traffic between Nigerian airports and London, where this new strain has erupted.

He stressed;

The reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the COVID-19 virus is that the Federal Government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians, like myself and others, to shut down our borders once the virus became a pandemic.

Hindsight is 20/20. Nevertheless, we must learn from history or we stand the risk of repeating it.

Abubakar added;

The new strain of COVID19 that has erupted in the United Kingdom, and specifically, London, can add to Nigeria’s health emergency if we do not act with an abundance of caution and temporarily halt all flights to and from the UK, until this new strain is brought under control. In the case of this virus, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Cases have been relatively high in Nigeria since early December with infection rates still concentrated in Nigeria’s two hardest hit cities – Lagos and Abuja.

As at Sunday, December 20, Nigeria recorded 78,434 confirmed cases, 68,303 recoveries and 1,221 deaths.

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