Coronavirus: We’ll not stop Nigerians travelling to China – FG
By Anthony Okafor
The Federal Government has said it will not stop Nigerians willing to travel to the Peoples’ Republic of China, rather it will offer travel advisory that will assist those that wish to visit the country.
While addressing journalist after a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial and Multi Sectoral Committee on coronavirus at the Ministry of Health, Abuja, Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated that, our Embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them.
“Rather than impose travel ban, there will be travel advisory that will help Nigerians who wish to visit China to do so without any encumbrances to their health and wellbeing.
“We know it is a bit difficult to ban people from travelling. Another thing is that this is not a basis to stigmatise people who come from there. “Even if we have Nigerians who are there, unless they indicate interest that they want to come home, we can’t force them.
“I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our Embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them.
“They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home,” he said.
“We need a lot of public enlightenment. We need to let people who travel know that there is the need for absolute transparency and absolute honesty when they are filling out forms.
“Some people don’t take the forms seriously and they do mislead authorities when they are asked to declare their status. One of the major advantages of the declaration of global emergency for coronavirus by World Health Organisation, WHO, is that they understand that combating it can be really expensive and there are states that cannot afford it.
“But there are partners that can help such countries. But right now, we are in the stage of working together inter-ministerially to make sure we address the epidemic,” he said.