LAGOS State government officials and the Chinese embassy have reached an agreement on how travellers returning from China will be quarantined to prevent the spread of the corona virus across Nigeria.
Over the last month, the corona virus has spread like wildfire with total number affected expected to total about 75,000 and this is expected to double every six days. According to the World Health Organisation, the integrated nature of the global economy today, makes it much harder to prevent the spread of any virus.
So far, about 25 other countries have suffered fatalities as a result of the virus but it has not yet spread to Nigeria or any other African nation. Given the high number of Chinese citizens living in Nigeria, there are fears that some of them may bring the virus back with them when they travel home, so the Lagos State government has introduced measures to prevent this happening.
Professor Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State health commissioner, said: “We are very happy with the cooperation we are receiving from the Chinese government. We’ve had a very serious and high-level discussion with the Chinese government through their embassy in Lagos.
“Our primary concern has been the return of their citizens to Lagos in a few days and we are happy to inform you that the embassy of China is also concerned about this and they have sent out information through notifications to their citizens and companies located in Lagos that their citizens should try and remain in China until there is clarity about how this infection is going. However, if some of them choose to return and we cannot restrict people, if they do return to Lagos, the instruction from the Chinese embassy is that they should be quarantined for a period of 10 to 14 days in their houses, hostels and accommodations.”
Chinese citizens are very visible in the Nigerian economy, very active in certain sectors like rail, construction and power. Under the arrangement reached, it appears that anyone who returns from China will be kept under quarantine until it is medically confirmed that they are free of the virus.