January 30, 2020 / 11:38 AM / 19 days ago

Nigeria tells travellers to avoid China because of virus

ABUJA/LAGOS, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, told people to avoid travel to China for at least two weeks because of a spreading coronavirus outbreak, and instructed those returning from China to self-quarantine for the same length of time.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire also said those showing symptoms of the virus would be taken into mandatory quarantine in hospital.

The virus, with its epicentre in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed 170 people in China and rattled global markets, with cases reported in at least 16 countries.

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Africa, though Sudanese officials reported two suspected cases.

Nigerian officials have directed airlines to report any sick passengers before planes land. The two major airports, in Lagos and the capital of Abuja, are already using temperature monitors to screen passengers. [bit.ly/313O7hM ]

Nigeria imports more from China than its other top two import sources combined, and in the second quarter of last year, Chinese goods accounted for a quarter of all imports, according to Stears Business, a Nigerian business publishing group. (Reporting By Felix Onuah in Abuja and Angela Ukomadu in Lagos, writing by Libby George, editing by Nick Macfie)

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