NIGERIA’S federal government has suspended plans to resume domestic flights across the country on Sunday June 21 after health experts warned that it would unsafe to do so in the face or rising coronavirus cases.
As of today, Nigeria has 18,480 cases of coronavirus, of which 475 have been fatal. Like most other nations, when the pandemic struck, Nigeria introduced a lockdown, involving closing markets, suspending travel, closing airports, shutting the nation’s borders, banning religious congregations and asking members of the public to work from home.
Over recent weeks, Nigeria has lifted most of the restrictions, with work resuming and life returning to normal. In most states of the country, religious services have also resumed but the federal government is yet to open the country’s airports as the number of Covid-19 cases is still rising.
Unlike in most European nations where the number of affected people in falling, most tropical countries are yet to hit their peak. Over recent weeks, tropical nations like Brazil, India and Peru have seen a spike in cases, so their governments are being cautious about what restrictions to ease.
Nigeria had planned to open all her airports and allow the travel industry to return to full operation on June 21 bit with the number of infections still rising, the government has changed its mind. Aviation minister Senator Hadi Sirika, said the date is no longer a feasible one to resume domestic operations.
Senator Sirika said: “The civil aviation authorities, despite pressures coming from all quarters will not approve the start any day until we are sure and we confirm that we are ready to start in a safe, secure, organised and efficient manner. To do otherwise is disastrous for all of us.
“If we open the industry when we are not ready and we are guilty of spreading coronavirus, God forbid we have any incident, I believe the government will come hard on us and it is going to be counterproductive and disastrous for the industry.”