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COVID-19 Omicron Variant: PSC says it is monitoring situation

Travel Portal

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 says it is currently monitoring situation around the world concerning the newly mutated COVID-19 variant known as Omicron.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to Federal Government (SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, said in Abuja on Monday that “as the director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) just stated today, the emergence of the highly-mutated Omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is.

“South Africa and Botswana should be commended for detecting, sequencing and reporting this variant, not penalised.

“Nigerians and residents are therefore urged to get fully vaccinated, frequently tested, and continue to strictly adhere to the non-pharmaceutical intervention measures, including physical distancing, proper wearing of face mask, ensure proper ventilation and hand hygiene.

“However, the PSC is reviewing the situation around the world and putting in place measures to curtail the impact of the variant on the country.”

Mustapha further said that the PSC was aware of some travellers who circumvent travel protocols by providing fake COVID-19 test results, permit to travel certificates or declaring fake vaccination status at points of entry.

He added that “the weight of the law is heavy and will come hard on these people.”

On the December 1 deadline for the vaccine mandate for civil servants, the PSC chairman said “the vaccine mandate will come into effect fully on December 1, 2021 and I encourage every Federal Government worker and in essence, all Nigerians and residents to get vaccinated.

“The NPHCDA is ramping up vaccination around the country to ensure that citizens have access to the vaccines wherever they may be. The vaccines are available, so we need people to go get their jabs.

“With the developments around the world, people will not be able to travel without their verified vaccination cards.”

On the suspension of the ban on Emirates Airlines, he said “the PSC will want to inform you that the impasse on the Nigeria – UAE flights have been resolved in the interest of both parties.

“Although this process has taken so long to pull through with its ripple effects, we thank everyone involved in getting this deal. A date for the commencement of flights between the two countries will be announced in due course.”

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Chuka Francis

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