Coronavirus: All Nigerian Airports May Be Closed ― Sirika

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has hinted that all the nation’s airports may eventually be closed to contain the possible spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Sirika was at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the closure to international flights of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Port-Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, effective from Saturday 21st March 2020 midnight.

When asked by State House correspondents why the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were still left open to international flights, he said: ” Well, I think differently, this is my individual perspective. At some point, these airports must be closed. This is my opinion. But like I said there is Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to which I am a member.

“But certainly and definitely, at some point, these airports must be closed, all of them in Nigerian will be closed. I think it is the safest thing to do because these things, they multiply exponentially.

” But for a better brief, I think we have the forum, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. They will come up with a statement.

“But I can guarantee you that sooner than later, the airports will be closed. We would close down these airports and we would issue the necessary notices to airmen as to what time they would be closed. I think it will be very soon.

“It is better safe than sorry and I think, in my opinion, this is my personal opinion if you want to catch a fish empty the water.”

Sirika said measures have been put in place for the enforcement of the airport closure to ensure that citizens of COVID-19 high-risk countries do not enter Nigeria.

He also spoke on tracking the passengers in aircraft that brought in President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter from the United Kingdom following her self-isolation even though she has not tested positive to COBID-19.

Sirika stated: “The task force set up by Mr. President is actively tracking that and we will make sure that any traveler that comes in, any flight that informs us, we will follow each and every individual to further follow development on that individual.”


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