NewsOne Nigeria reports that Gambian authorities were on Friday searching for 14 people who broke out of a hotel where they had been quarantined as a coronavirus precaution and escaped, health officials, said.
This burgeoning online news platform understands that the 14 people were among 32 passengers who arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom on Wednesday and placed in quarantine in the hotel located in the capital Banjul.
Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh in a statement broadcast on Thursday said that some quarantined passengers “apparently became aggressive,” broke down the hotel gates and ran away.
The Gambian Health Minister added that the incident was “very, very detrimental” and created “risk for the entire nation”.
Newsone Nigeria reports that the Gambia, a tiny West African state recorded its first coronavirus case on Tuesday, in a young woman who also flew into the country from the United Kingdom.
President Adama Barrow had on the same day announced measures to contain the deadly Covid-19, such as closing schools and placing arrivals from the affected country in quarantine.
Underscoring the difficulty of enforcing the rules, a health ministry director, Modou Njie, said that many passengers on Wednesday were uncooperative from the outset and squabbled about boarding the bus to the hotel.
The health ministry director added that 14 people in total later fled quarantine. “We are looking for them. We are trying to ascertain the nationalities of those who escaped,” Njie told AFP.
In a related development, Coronavirus in Nigeria has taken a new twist, with the Federal Government declaring it will shut down the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja from Monday, March 23, to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the NCAA Director-General, the closure will last April 23. He added that emergency and essential flights would be operated from both airports within the period.
The NCAA Director-General said the measure is expedient due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic which increased geometrically from 12 to 22 cases on Saturday, noting that domestic flight operations would continue normally in all airports in the country.
“Further to our earlier letter on the restriction of international flights into Nigeria, we wish to inform you that effective Monday 23 March at 2300Z to 23 April at 2300z, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos (DNMM) and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja (DNAA) will be closed to international flights,” the statement read.
“This is in addition to the closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (DNKN); Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu (DNEN); and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa (DNPO) effective Saturday, 21 March at 2300Z.
“Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights,” the statement added.