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Omicron Virus: ‘No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria’

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Omicron Virus: 'No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria'

The Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of restricting foreign travellers from visiting Nigeria despite travel bans on the country by Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

This is just as the government stated that most of the in-bound passengers that tested positive for COVID-19 were from the UK.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Channels Television’s Politics Today’ programme, which was monitored by Newsrand.

Ehanire described as unfortunate the knee-jerk reaction of some countries to the Omicron strain. He noted that even the World Health Organisation had said recently that countries should focus more on collaboration rather than shutting borders.

At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.

WHO had two weeks ago designated the omicron variant as a variant of concern.The NCDC had last week announced that the country had reported three cases of the variant. Before this, the Canadian government had announced that it found two individuals with the variant who had travel history to Nigeria.

The UK on Saturday, December 3, 2021, also announced that it found 21 cases of the omicron variant which were linked to Nigeria. It announced that it would, from Monday (today), restrict all flights emanating from Nigeria.

It also suspended all pending visa applications in Nigeria due to the ban on flights from Nigeria due to the Omicron variant.

In a statement on Sunday, the commission said, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern, UK Visas and Immigration will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted.

If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place. You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.

The UK said there are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.

But the minister said the Omicron strain could not yet be declared as a deadly strain because no deaths had so far been recorded across the world.

“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.

We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more that the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.

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Daily Headline News (Wednesday, 19-1-2022)

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Boarded MaxAir Passengers Disgruntled Over Delay Caused By NCAA

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Boarded MaxAir Passengers Disgruntled Over Delay Caused By NCAA

Passengers of MaxAir airline were aggrieved over the delay caused by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) after boarding.

It was learned that the NCAA had stopped the already taxiing airline, to carry out a safety inspection on the airplane.

The VM1609 of MaxAir flight was to depart to Lagos from the Abuja airport.

READ ALSO: Illegal Oil Refinery Operators Arrested In Lagos

According to an official report, the flight was stopped due to technical issues as commuters were left stranded in the aircraft.

Narrating the event, a passenger named Raymond had explained how the 11.30 am flight had moved some distance on the tarmac preparatory for take-off before it was eventually turned back to the hangar and parked.

When contacted to explain what actually happened, the Station Manager for MaxAir at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Kehinde Ogunyale, said the aircraft had to follow the rules of the aviation industry regulator-NCAA.

“It was just a delay on the flight, nothing like stranded passengers please, and it is because we were told that the NCAA wanted to do an inspection. That was it,” he told our correspondent.

Ogunyale added, “So the delay came because we were waiting for the NCAA to do the inspection. There is nothing like stranded passengers on our flight.

“The aircraft was ready to take off and they said they wanted to do an inspection on the flight. So the time spent had to do with waiting for the NCAA officials to do the inspection.

“After the inspection, the flight was meant to take off and as I am talking to you now I’ve just got information that the plane is now taxiing for take-off.”

It was learnt that the flight finally took off around 2 pm after the civil aviation authority had completed the safety inspection on the aircraft.

Although the spokesperson for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, stated that he had yet to be briefed on the MaxAir incident in Abuja when contacted, he explained that it was a standard practice to inspect an aircraft, especially whenever a pilot raised a concern.

“The pilot might have noticed an issue and might have called the NCAA to inspect the plane. So it is a standard practice to carry out such inspection before clearing the aircraft for takeoff,” he stated.

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BREAKING: Kanu’s Trial Adjourned

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BREAKING: Kanu's Trial Adjourned

Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), would again appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, as his trial was adjourned today (Tuesday, January 18).

The court adjourned Kanu’s trial after the IPOB leader complained that the federal government didn’t serve him the fresh 15 amended charges on time.

Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozoekhome (SAN), informed the court that the amended charges were served to them barely 24 hours prior to the former’s appearance in court, which they argued was a limited time for them.

My Lord, the proposed amended charges were served on us yesterday (Monday) evening. As I speak to you, my lord, the defendant, who was just brought in, has not even seen the charges which he is being told to enter his plea.

With due respect, that is not justice. It is ambushing. I know that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act allows the Federal Government to amend, but this is the sixth amendment they are making, and each time they do it, they serve us a day to the hearing, just to frustrate the trial,” Ozekhome stated.

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