Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has asked the federal government to immediately restrict flights from the United Kingdom.
He made the call amid reports of a new strain of COVID-19 circulating in the UK. The new strain is said to be more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus.
In a statement, the former vice-president blamed the first wave of the virus on the early response of the federal government to the call to close the border.
He said action must be taken now to prevent a recurring situation.
“The reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the #COVID19 virus is that the Federal Government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians, like myself and others, to shut down our borders once the virus became a pandemic,” Atiku said in a statement.
“Hindsight is 20/20. Nevertheless, we must learn from history, or we stand the risk of repeating it.
“The new strain of COVID19 that has erupted in the United Kingdom, and specifically, London, can add to Nigeria’s health emergency if we do not act with an abundance of caution and temporarily halt all flights to and from the UK until this new strain is brought under control.
“Already, prudent nations are taking prompt action, and Nigeria must take necessary precautions due to the volume of air traffic between Nigerian airports and London, where this new strain has erupted.
“We must face the reality that our health sector is not sufficiently prepared to handle a sudden and unpredictable surge of this pandemic. We have already lost lives needlessly. We need not lose more. In the case of this virus, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”