Indonesian government says it will ban travellers from Nigeria and seven other African countries over concerns about the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
No single case of Omicron has yet been reported in Nigeria.
Travellers who have been to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, or Nigeria for the past 14 days are affected.
According to Reuters, Indonesia senior ministers told a news conference that the travel restrictions will take effect on Monday and reevaluated every two weeks.
Luhut Pandjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, said Indonesian citizens who have been to the eight African countries and Hong Kong will quarantine in designated facilities for 14 days.
Pandjaitan also disclosed that travellers entering the country will have to quarantine for seven days compared to three days earlier announced.
“Omicron has spread to more countries, so to respond to these developments, today the government wants to carry out the following policies,” the minister was quoted to have said by Reuters.
On Thursday, South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced the discovery of the new variant, B.1.1.529.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had named it ‘Omicron’ and classified it as a variant of concern.
The global health organisation advised countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts, as well as ensure strict adherence to the Covid protocol to limit the spread of infections.
On Sunday, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), advised world leaders not to label or penalise African nations for new Covid-19 variants and mutations happening across the world.