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COVID 19 Second Wave : Health Journalists Seek Ban On Int’l Flights From Britain, Others

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Winifred Bosa 
Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) has urged  federal government to immediately place entry ban on flights from Britain and other countries currently experiencing the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.
HEWAN in a press statement signed by its President, Mrs. Chioma Obinna and Secretary, Mrs. Lucy Osuizigbo Okechukwu, advised  the government not to wait until the virus gets to Nigeria   but to quickly take necessary steps to keep it away.
“Unfortunately, the nation is already experiencing an influx of travellers, as expected in this festive period, from different countries including those now being ravaged by the new strain of COVID-19. Therefore, it is  imperative that the country acts fast as the world confronts another wave of the pandemic,” it stated.
“As at today, the new variant is reportedly spreading rapidly in Britain and the World Health Organusation has confirmed nine instances of the same variant in Denmark, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands.”
“Several other countries including South Africa have also confirmed the emergence of  variants similar to the one now ravaging Britain.”
“Scientists say the new variant is 70 per cent  more transmissible than the previously dominant strain though there’s no evidence yet that it could be more fatal. There’s however, fear that it will spread swiftly to other countries.”
“Expectedly, countries around the world have reacted swiftly to prevent or curtail the spread of the new variant. As at today, over 40 countries have banned flights from Britain while neighbouring France has temporarily shut its borders.”
Also believing  that  Nigeria has the capacity for the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the association   urged  the federal government to ensure that funds are dedicated for research institutes such as the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and others ,so as to develop a homegrown vaccine.
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