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Nigeria bans entry for travelers from 13 countries as it announces five new cases of coronavirus

Nigeria joins other African countries that are shutting their airports and land borders to keep out people from countries that have a high number of coronavirus cases.
Tunisia on Monday suspended all international flights and closed the country's land borders in an attempt to contain the outbreak. It also banned gathering in markets and other places and introduced a nighttime curfew from 6 p.m to 6 a.m from Wednesday.
Sudan also sealed off all sea ports, land crossings and airports, a spokesman South Africa News for Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council, Mohamed Al-Faki Suleiman, said in a press statement.
Hundreds of international flights have been canceled, schools have closed and travelers from coronavirus-hit countries have been restricted or, in some cases, banned from visiting some countries in Africa.

Egypt, with the highest number of coronavirus cases in Africa, announced it was suspending flights from all its airports starting Thursday to stop the spread of the virus, Ahram Online reported.
Some countries such as Djibouti are yet to record a single case, but it has suspended all international flights to the country, the US Embassy in Djibouti said in a statement.

There is widespread support on the continent for governments to impose travel bans. One Twitter user noted that Western countries would have acted swiftly to place travel sanctions on travelers if the outbreak originated in Africa.


"I hope African countries close up their borders to all these majorly affected countries because we all know the west would ban travel had Coronavirus started in Africa," they said.
Advice against restrictions

The travel bans and restrictions goes against the advice of the WHO, which has urged countries to not apply blind travel restrictions in a way that would impact trade and travel.
WHO Africa's Dr. Mary Stephen told CNN that many African countries, which were initially screening passengers from countries with outbreaks and also placing travellers from virus-hit countries on quarantine, may now be making travel ban decisions based on panic.
"The outbreak is evolving. It used to be China and now it is Italy and other countries are following after it. So we must be careful because we have seen an increasing number of countries imposing travel restrictions, and that means their perception of risks have changed. But have they done a risk assessment to their countries or are they just implementing those measures based on their perception?" she said.

Stephen, who is with the organization's emergencies team, said African countries need to enhance their capacities to detect early, isolate and track all patients' contacts and effectively manage the sick to curb the spread of coronavirus.
She added that airport screening and a robust surveillance Press Release Distribution Services In South Africa  system were effective ways to detect cases from travelers without symptoms.
"WHO continues to advise countries not to impose travel restrictions but countries also have their sovereignty," she said.


South Africa has declared a "national state of disaster," and put in place a number of travel restrictions on foreign nationals in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.
"We are imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his address to the nation on Sunday.

Ramaphosa said the country was seeing an internal transmission of the virus that was first detected in a group that traveled to Italy. He said the government will take "urgent and drastic measures'' to protect the citizens and its economy.

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