Nigeria’s aviation minister has said the country will reopen its airports for international flights from August 29, introducing protocols to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection.
Home to some 200 million people, Africa’s most populous country has registered 49,068 confirmed coronavirus cases and 975 related deaths. Some 36,500 people have recovered so far.
Nigeria’s airports have been shut down since March 23 to all but essential international flights as part of the country’s efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Glad to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020. Beginning with Lagos and Abuja as we did with the domestic flight resumption. Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience.🙏🏽🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🙏🏽
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) August 17, 2020
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said on Monday the resumption of international flights would begin with the megacity of Lagos and the capital, Abuja.
“Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course,” he wrote earlier on Twitter.
At a briefing in Abuja, he said four flights would begin landing daily in Lagos and four in Abuja.
Nigeria resumed domestic flights on July 8, and Sirika said there had been no confirmed coronavirus transmissions on flights.
298 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;
975 deaths pic.twitter.com/aIPEWeoFqG
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) August 16, 2020
Earlier in the day, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the country had recorded 298 new confirmed coronavirus cases and one related death on Sunday.
With more than 16,500 infections, Lagos remains Nigeria’s hardest-hit area. It is followed by the Federal Capital Territory – which includes Abuja – with more than 4,700 cases and the southwestern Oyo state with almost 3,000 infections.
Al Jazeera and news agencies