Health experts have urged Nigerians to be vigilant and stay vigilant in the face of the continued rise of COVID-19 in China.

They warned Nigerians not to discount COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly this festive season when more foreign travelers are likely to return home from their various bases abroad.

The experts also urged the Nigerian government to consider border surveillance to prevent the importation of new variants of the viral infection.

According to experts, following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in China, Nigerians, especially the elderly and immunocompromised, need to abide by COVID-19 rules as incoming travelers they may associate with during this period they may have mixed with others. passengers who may unknowingly be carrying the virus.

Speaking to PUNCH HealthWise, the experts, Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Prof. Babatunde Salako, and Professor of virology at the University of Lagos School of Medicine, Sunday Omilabu say that despite the relaxation of the COVID-19 protocol in Nigeria for both citizens and foreign travelers, Nigerians should take protection against viral infections seriously with the rise of COVID-19 in China.

It should be recalled that following reports of a surge in COVID-19 cases in China, the Federal Government through the Coordinator of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Muktar Muhammed, said that Nigeria was not yet considering imposing mandatory measures. of COVID-19. -19 tests or restrictions on travelers from China until necessary.

However, according to a report published by La Repubblica, an Italian general-interest newspaper, on December 26, a flight coming from China to Milan’s Malpensa airport reported that 52 percent of the passengers on board tested positive for COVID-19. 19. Italy is now one of the European countries that have imposed COVID-19 restrictions on flights from China.

As Reuters reported, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said preliminary tests showed that COVID-positive travelers from China were aware of omicron variants.

Other countries that have taken steps to prevent the importation of COVID-19 from China by implementing border controls for travelers entering their countries include the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

Professor Salako, who is also executive director of NIMR, said there should be border surveillance, especially for people coming from areas reporting new COVID-19 cases.

He said: “I think as a nation we need to continue to monitor people coming in to see and determine almost immediately when a case is coming into the country so that we can prevent the spread of the disease as usual.

“Perhaps we also need to pay special attention to those countries that are still being devastated by COVID-19 or anyone who transits through those countries to come to Nigeria and then pay special attention to them.”