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UK red-listing Nigeria over Omicron is discriminatory – Lai Mohammed

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Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, has condemned the UK government’s red listing of the country due to two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Mr Mohammed described the decision as unjust and discriminatory during a news conference in Abuja.

The minister, on the other hand, has urged the UK government to reverse their decision as soon as possible.

The summit also discussed the next steps in scaling up current pandemic responses, such as ongoing mass vaccination, surveillance, and screening at various points of entry.

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Lai Mohammed’s remarks are the most recent responses to the red listing, which has sparked debate in Nigeria and around the world.

Man receiving COVID-19 vaccination certificate

 

Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, expressed dissatisfaction with the United Kingdom government’s decision to place the country on its red list following the discovery of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“We were not very happy when six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were placed on a red list and the WHO also advised against putting each other on the red list,” the minister said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, less than one day after the UK announced the move.

“From what we know about the COVID-19, there are many ways to manage it, and besides, not much is still known about the Omicron variant. We know, for example, that there have been no fatalities.

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“There have also been no reports of very severe illness. Actually, the rationale for being so hasty in putting countries on the red list is not something that is very helpful.”

The move, according to the minister, was ill-advised. He went on to say that it would have a wide-ranging impact on commerce and would disrupt activities during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

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