The Canadian government has extended its travel ban to include Nigeria and those who visited Nigeria recently over the fear of the spread of the coronavirus variant, Omicron. The Canadian Authorities had earlier revealed today that it has detected the new Omicron variant of the covid-19 amongst the people who recently visited Nigeria. The Canadian Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos today disclosed that Egypt and Malawi are other African countries that were added to its list, making the list now to a total of 10 countries in Africa that were meted with the travel ban by the Canadian authorities.
Duclos while making the pronouncement today said, “We are adding three countries to the list of these countries that we talked about last Friday; these are Malawi, Egypt and Nigeria,”. He added, “As of today, foreign nationals who have travelled to these countries over the last 14 days will be forbidden from entering Canada. They join a list of seven southern African countries that had restrictive measures imposed on them.
The Canadian Minister explained that “Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have been in any of these ten countries over the last 14 days will need to receive a negative PCR test before being allowed to travel to Canada. Upon arriving in Canada, they will face more testing and quarantine measures.
The authorities further reiterated that “These new measures also apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, even those that are fully vaccinated,”
Accordingly, the Omicron variant was first reported today in Nigeria, which is also described as B.1.1.529 linage.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known today through its official statement by the Director-General of the agency, Ifedayo Adetifa, saying the cases were recorded through, “genomic sequencing”.
The said variants were discovered on travellers from South Africa where the strain has already started spreading.
Although NCDC said so far, no death has been recorded so far as a result of the new variant, saying it has a high tendency of transmissibility with 126 genomes of variants.
Meanwhile, the health agency has called on the public to keep calm and adhere to the covid-19 protocol since the disease is still in the developing stage.