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Finally, NIgeria backtracks, places travel ban on US, 12 others

After initially grandstanding that it would not place travel ban on any country in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria  today finally backtracked and  announced that it was placing restrictiion on 13 countries from  entering into the country.

The restricted countries for include  the US and UK.

According to the a message on the twitter handle of  National Centre for Disease   Control,  restriction will  apply to travelers from countries with more than 1,000 cases. They include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has also suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travelers from these countries. All travelers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by the NCDC and Port Health Services”

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, two days ago (Monday) in Abuja said that the country still had no plans on restricting any country’s nationals from entering.

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He said instead, the country would be intensifying screening on passengers from eight countries – China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Japan, France, and Spain.

Mamora, while giving the national update on the status of the disease in the country, said these eight countries have been highlighted as countries with high risk of widespread community transmission and screening would be intensified on passengers from these countries.

Before then, (last Friday) the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, had said  Nigeria had no immediate plans to impose travel restrictions on any country, passport or flights.
He said Nigeria had  seen no need to impose such restrictions because transmission risk to the country was not yet high.
Ehanire said though the risk of transmission was higher among air travellers, transmission from land borders could not  be ruled out as well.
“We are working in partnership with the Port Health Services,” to “prioritise measures for the containment of COVID-19, especially the screening of passengers at points of entry.”
He said the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organised a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria where they asked for their solidarity in containing the disease.
He said it is expected that citizens from countries with the outbreak inbound Nigeria should screen their citizens before allowing them to travel out of the country.
“We had a meeting with the Ambassadors and High Commissioners,” and “called for solidarity and cooperation in responding to this pandemic, especially to urge their governments to introduce tighten(ed) health screening at their points.”

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  IOM, Greece assist 134 Iraqi  migrants with voluntary return

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Displaced Yemen children at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity  

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  IOM, Greece assist 134 Iraqi  migrants with voluntary return

 

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  Nigerian migrants’ sojourn in Middle East ends in woes
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