Nigeria shuts down five airports to tame coronavirus scare

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After recording 22 cases of the dreaded coronavirus, Nigeria is taking the next step to isolate itself from the rest of the world as it shuts down five international airports.

From Monday, March 23, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in the country’s commercial capital, Lagos; and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja will be shut down.

The PUNCH reported that the country’s  Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, announced  the closure of international flight operations at the Lagos and Abuja airports.

This is an addition  in addition to the three other international airports in Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt, which were closed down to airlines on Saturday.

The closure would last through April 23, however,  emergency and essential flights could be operated from any of the airports within the period.

“Domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports. Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights,” he was quoted as saying.

Across Africa, cases of coronavirus are largely imported from Europe, a situation is forcing most governments across the continent to close their airspace to airlines.

It started with a travel ban on persons travelling from coronavirus endemic countries, but as the more and more African citizens continue to import the disease to their countries, several African countries are moving to the next step– shutting down their airports.

So far, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Uganda, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morroco and  Sudan have all locked their airports, except for emergency cargo.

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