March 18, 2020 / 11:19 AM / 21 days ago

Nigeria bans entry to arrivals from 13 countries to combat coronavirus

ABUJA, March 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria will from Friday ban entry to arrivals from 13 of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus epidemic, its Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.

All countries on the list have more than 1,000 cases, and include the United States, Britain, Germany, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, it said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

“We urge the public to restrict all non-essential travel to these countries,” it said, adding that the government was temporarily suspending the issuance of all visas on arrival.

Nigeria has recorded eight confirmed coronavirus cases, health ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Several governments in Africa, where the virus present in at least 26 countries but has spread more slowly than in Europe and Asia, have closed borders, cancelled flights and imposed strict entry and quarantine requirements.

The NCDC said the entry ban would operate for an initial period of four weeks, and that anyone arriving in Nigeria who had visited any of the 13 countries in recent days would be subject to supervised self-isolation and testing for 14 days.

Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Abuja; editing by John Stonestreet

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